In today's post on Outside Spaces, it was hard to go past this striking property known as The Stone House, with it's abundance of planting and foliage, on the route to Ha Long Bay from Hanoi in Vietnam.
Designed by leading Vietnemese architects Vo Trong Nghia for a family in 2012, it clearly illustrates just how powerful it can be when the design of a property intrinsically connects it to the outside space.
The architects were keen to use the natural resources that abound in the country (stone and hardwood) and most importantly that have a beauty that changes as they mature and age over time. The desire to embrace the changing quality of natural materials is fulfilled through the design and shape of the building - an elliptical curve that enables the central area to be given to an open courtyard and which then rises to the roof. This allows the residents to be constantly aware of outside and to have access to it though really interesting viewpoints.
The courtyard acts as both a connection to outside with it's planting, but also has a shallow pond which enables air to be cooled and results in a natural cross ventilation for the house. The environmental properties of the grass roof with it's inbuilt irrigation system has a similar impact, it's natural insulation providing a cooling effect.
Foliage and creepers have been trained along the top of the stone boundary wall, and when combined with the taller trees leading your eye to the grass roof, it becomes hard to see almost where the garden ends and the house begins.
We love the relationship between the house and garden here and it is not hard to see why Vo Trong Nghia are multi award winning architects in Vietnam. The Stone House is just one project where they have lived up to their ethos of exploring 'new ways to create green architecture for the 21st century, whilst maintaining the essence of Asian architectural expression.'
What do you think?