Located in a recently developed area at about 30 minutes driving from Hanoi (Vietnam), the Japanese nursing university created a learning environment where Japanese and Vietnamese culture blend together. The client (who is a University based in Japan) is aiming to expand abroad and introducing their knowledge (Nursing, Physical Therapy, Prosthetics & Orthotics) to Vietnamese students.
Our main focus was to make use of design techniques and materials found in the local area. This gave us the opportunity to create a more sustainable and economic structure with a visually daring design reaching out to Vietnam’s local architecture.Large canopies provide shade against the hot summer sun and heavy rainfall, both common in Vietnam’s tropical climate. These canopies created a semi-outdoor terrace where students can get together and enjoy their time between classes.
The porous brick screens in front of the glass façade allow an appropriate amount of natural light while maintaining the beautiful view of rich greenery which is surrounding the building. The small openings in the brick screen shatters sunlight, constantly changing throughout the day.In addition, mechanical shafts on the façade are not purely functional but also put an accent to a normally mortar with paint finish which is typical in Vietnam. The shaft conceals piping and downspout and itself doubles as a solar chimney, taking in air from the small openings at the porous brick area and exhaust at the roof.
Porous Materials and methods have been carefully selected depending on each location (screen, handrail, ventilation etc.) and purpose (view and filtering light and air to appropriate levels).Traces of craftsman who made each brick screen by hand are visible on the brick texture. The perforated patterns form a contrast with heaviness of a brick wall.
The clearly expressed passive design technologies have created a unified façade and dramatic interior space of unusual refinement. Although the building features Vietnamese typical materials and low-tech construction methods, our aim is not to reproduce the vernacular but to bring together Vietnamese traditional and intelligent practice creating sustainable architecture suitable for the present.