Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
How to showcase the Carezza product ~ exemplified by its contemporary interpretation of mid-century design ~ within the grittiness of its Ho Chi Minh industrial context?
How to provide the necessary spectacle without compromising functional requirements, ensuring a synchronicity between public and private zones, social and display areas, external facades and internal spaces? And how to marry the chaotic excitement of Vietnam with the Italian provenance of the Carezza product and its international reach?
The Glass House provides the answers...
The resulting jewel box bears witness to such questions, providing an exemplary example of adaptive reuse through the insertion of a modernist glass box that quietly sparkles, revealing an exciting interplay of international modern and regional vernacular architectural devices and sensitivities; of display and social spaces; of hide of seek, places for display and sales, and most of all conjuring up the customisable product of Carezza’s sofas.
The building is divided into two zones – one half (the dark glass box) is poised on a suspended timber deck, and the other the original warehouse with a new mezzanine level inserted inside it.
These two key elements are united by a giant backlit LED wall; a grand, neutral backdrop that counterpoints the sumptuous detailing of the product. This device creates a drama of scale while simultaneously providing access for natural light and the screening of the adjacent development.
Openable glass doors offer a variety of visual configurations, display settings and circulation opportunities, all while facilitating the through flow of air via the pergola and garden walkway entry.
Subtle level changes enhance the pavillion-like feeling of the Glass House
Reminiscent of Japanese paper screen walls, the backlit wall feature wall infuses the industrial space with Sino sensibility
This permeability also utilises the clever articulation of functional and circulation zones via changes in floor room levels and the interplay of sectional overhead ceiling heights. The materiality of the box, glass withstanding, is distinguished by the natural look and feel of brickwork, timber and bamboo, stone and vegetation, giving the build a timeless but not placeless quality.
Clients are able to select the leather of their choice and physically sit on the range of sofas
The timber arrival pergola is screened above for rain - essential in the tropics!
Making an entrance, the Glass House faces a sliver of a jungle courtyard.
This is low impact, responsible architecture. A place that does not challenge the external status quo but keenly establishes a new dialogue with place, and offering potential for a host of internal activities amid a building that embraces its multi-cultural role.
Concept architects - soundspacedesign
Architect of record - AD+Studio
Words - Robyn Harding