As Vietnam's city dwellers struggle to squeeze potted plants into their homes, renowned architect Vo Trong Nghia decided to build a house that functions as a series of pots for trees, and won him an acclaimed UK award in the process.
The “House for trees” took this year's AR House Awards-- a £10,000 (US$17,000) annual prize given by the UK's Architectural Review for the best one-off house, news website Dan Tri reported.
Nghia received the award in London on Wednesday, on behalf of the company he founded, Vo Trong Nghia Architects, and its Japanese partners Masaaki Iwamoto and Kosuke Nishijima.
The house includes five separate prismatic blocks, each of which contains a tree planted on its roof. The design beat hundreds of other buildings for the award.
Many feel the design offers an inspiring solution to the city's growing pollution and shortage of green space.
It was finished this year, on 350 square meters in Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Binh District and was the first in Vietnam built with a bamboo framework.
Nghia is no stranger to acclaim.
His Binh Thanh House in HCMC’s namesake district was named one of the world’s best five new private houses by the British magazine Wallpaper early this year.
It was designed by Nghia and Japan’s Sanuki + Nishizawa Architects to house a three-generation family. The house contains a lot of open areas, natural light and a mix of concrete and green space.
The native of the north-central province of Quang Binh said many of his designs were inspired by his childhood and tend to be open-air constructions surrounded by water.
He first became known for bamboo-centered structures including the open-air Hill Restaurant in Mexico and the Eco-resort Pavilion and wNw Café and Bar in Binh Duong Province--which neighbors HCMC.
The award-winning green buildings helped make a name for his company, which was named one of the top 21 architectural firms of the 21st century by the World Architecture News (WAN) in 2012.
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