Now for something a little different! It's a well known fact that travel has inspired people for generations and it certainly has that effect on us! However, when globetrotting is not an option at least we have the wonders of the web to enable us to do some 'virtual' travelling and violà - we found this project in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) Vietnam designed by Nishizawa Architects.
The traditional Vietnamese terraced house with it's central staircase connecting each floor has been re-invented with the house being designed as a series of cubes, linked by a snaking steel staircase on the outer perimeter.
Every aspect of space is exploited - from five metre double height rooms to mezzanine levels all of which play with scale and proportion. This also enables the house to have a series of voids and terraces. The spaces revealed under and around the cubes become shared family areas, and of course give that real connection to nature.
The client is a family who wanted their home to have a real connection with outside and for the interiors to explore an expansiveness that can be exploited for the family to be together and equally allow flexibility for privacy when required.
Lush green foliage is constantly referenced through huge windows and doors framing views of the park and trees beyond, the play of shadows from the plants on the terraces and the leaf design stencilled in the concrete floors. Even wooden decorative screens which can be rotated to direct air-flow and regulate privacy have a leaf motif.
We are particularly drawn to the apparent simplicity of materials and finishes and find that the result has an almost monastic essence which seems very appealing!
We love what the architect has achieved with the interplay of space in this house and feel that it must provide a sense of serenity and retreat for the residents from the urban hustle.
Don't you think that it's only when we seek out inspiration globally, and push ourselves to explore the unfamiliar, that we can really grow and develop our own creativity? Where shall we go next?!