Cage House / ROOM+ Design & Build
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Text description provided by the architects. According to an official statistic in 2020, urban townhouses accounted for more than 88% of the total 1.92 million housing units in Ho Chi Minh City. However, many outdated and decrepit townhouses no longer cater to the modern lifestyle and higher standard of living of the next generation. Understandably, renovating old townhouses to suit contemporary living needs has become a very challenging yet inspiring type of work for many local architects.
A typical 15-year-old small townhouse located in a small lane in a very high density neighborhood has been recently renovated to meet new living needs while most of its main structure has been carefully preserved due to budget greenhouse. The old house was moldy and decaying with a bulky concrete staircase down the center; a dark, poorly ventilated kitchen and bedroom in the back; as well as a dusty, abandoned rooftop terrace. Also, the 3 meter wide driveway is often congested with heavy and noisy traffic as it is a shortcut connecting two main roads.
The design brief called for a contemporary and artistic renovation that would hopefully improve comfort, provide sufficient natural lighting and natural ventilation, reduce the impact of traffic noise and also enhance the privacy and security of the property. interior space. The architectural and interior design concept was based on a dual approach: reorganizing and renovating all interior spaces at all levels, and attaching a unique cage-like structure with integrated gardens on the exterior facade.
First, the central concrete staircase was replaced with a lightweight staircase consisting of a custom iron frame and wooden treads under a glazed void; another small void has been dug in the rear corner to provide daylight to the kitchen and dining area at the rear of the ground floor while the front space is dedicated to a spacious living area combined with the main hall and a landscaped courtyard. The master bedroom and bathroom have been moved to the front of the second floor and finished with large glazing, wood laminate flooring and black tiles. A study/home library is positioned at the rear and well lit with soft daylight via the skylight. The third floor has a 2 meter setback and is still spacious enough to perfectly accommodate the second bedroom, a shared bathroom and a comfortable worship space.
Second, the entire old and obsolete facade was carefully “cut and sculpted” piece by piece, then structurally fixed with a 2-tier iron “cage”, which consists of fairly thin iron bars placed at random distances in combination with two son- mesh trellis above. Two large terraces with many leafy plantings and vibrant flowers are partly hidden just behind the metal facade. These landscaping areas effectively reduced noise from heavy traffic below and significantly improved the privacy and security of interior spaces. Moreover, they are also considered important green buffer zones that bring young homeowners closer to refreshing nature every day and contribute positively to the urban landscape at the same time.