This unique house by Vo Trong Nghia Architects is built in Vietnam, and the most unusual thing about it is its fruit trees on the roof.
Formed from brick and stone boxes stacked around a green courtyard, Thang House is the latest in the practice’s House for Trees series. Vo Trong Nghia Architects designed these homes to bring nature into dense urban environments. Recycled water from a ground-floor fish pond is used to nourish fruit trees on the roof of the house.
Intended to be self-sufficient, solar panels provide energy for the home while an automatic water recycling system circulates water between the fish pond and the planted areas. In plan, the house is two parallel strips on a small urban plot, one containing the living spaces and the other containing a garden enclosed by a high, planted wall. The green wall extends upwards to the roof garden, which contains nine planted boxes.
The green area lost due to construction work was compensated by a fruit garden on the rooftop that gets sunlight and shelters the building. Openings and balconies in the living areas face out onto the site’s green spaces and its small fish pond. These areas of outdoor space are for bringing natural light, fresh air and the aroma of grass and flowers into every single corner of the house.
Four boxes house the living spaces – one large volume with three smaller projecting units that contain bedrooms. These are raised over the garden below on thin concrete columns. Narrow slits in the concrete roofs of these boxes bring in light. Windows provide views between rooms and out to the garden, and large sliding doors allow interior spaces to spill out onto the balconies. With circulation routes that pass through this mix of interior and exterior spaces, different elements of the home have been given varied material finishes. Thang House’s concrete floors and exposed stone walls contrast with furniture made from dark wood.