Live-work townhouses are very popular for multi-generational living in Vietnam. Here’s a great example of how they can be renovated.

The townhouse, especially for live-work arrangements, is a very special and popular type of home in Vietnam.

This type of house is mostly rectangular in shape, with a much smaller width than the length. The townhouse has only one facade, the remaining three sides are adjacent to neighbors and often used as a business or a combination of business and accommodation.

Here’s a lovely example of renovating one such structure in Hanoi, as told by the architects, i.House Architecture and Construction:

The old 4-story house has the area of 49 square meters, and the 4.7-meter-wide facade along a big street—which is adjacent to a riverbank and straight west-southwest—receives a huge amount of solar heat from noon to late afternoon.

In addition, the old house has already been renovated several times and is home to 4 households (10 members in a family of 3 generations), so each floor of the house is divided into small spaces, very cramped and dark.

The goal was to renovate the whole space inside and outside the house so that it is airy and cool in the summer, warm in the winter. It must be done on the old girder frame system while meeting the wishes of the homeowners with two small children, and simultaneously must have space for the family business on the 1st and 2nd floor.

To solve this problem, we divide the functions vertically along with the height of the house, build another 1.5 floors so that the living space will be from the 3rd to 5th floor (a living room, a kitchen on the 3rd floor, bedrooms on 4th and 5th floors).

The dividing walls were torn down, the space for air and light at the end of the house was thoroughly utilized to create convection airflow from front to back, from bottom to top.

The back of the house has well-brought light, natural ventilation for the back, auxiliary rooms.

Nature piles into the house entwining with the backspace where the concrete tank solution was chosen, the tank was “beveled up and down – blocks protruding and indenting” and covered by green trees that creates hanging gardens which act as an insulation layer, preventing the coming-in of dust and smoke to make the inner living space cooler and fresher.

The glass doors near high-ceiling are used to create high visibility, add space, and simultaneously control the temperature in summer or winter, and most importantly, bring profuse natural light into the living space.

Now, this townhouse has harmonized with nature by our spatial-choice solution, in order to bring the homeowners a gentle, friendly, and more environment-friendly living space.

All photos are by Hoang Le.

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