White Cube House
Design: MM++ architects / MIMYA .co
Project Architects: Mỹ An Phạm Thị, Michael CHARRUAULT
Assistant Architects: Huy Tran Duc, Regis Robin
Location: Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM
Photography: Hiroyuki Oki
Text from MM++ architects:
This house is located in a residential area in District 7 of Ho Chi Minh city and hosts a couple with 2 young kids. The land is a square of 15m length. The footprint and volume are the result of the strict interpretation of the regulation guideline from setback, floors levels to pitched roof and color of walls. Sun path with the west orientation of the house, tropical climate of Saigon and the surrounding environment have led the design of the elevations with minimalist but effective solutions.
The house is split in 3 distinct blocks to avoid the usual heavy look of a 3 floors villa in dense area.
- The ground floor footprint is setting back to keep the upper white box shape intact. It’s an open space merging a kitchen island with dining and living room. It’s fully glazed on the east side, partially on North and South sides, giving a feeling of openness to the garden, full of natural ventilation. Except for the staircase, the west side, hotter, has only small size windows for the bathroom and a wet kitchen in the back, except for the large glass frame along the staircase which is equipped with an automatic sunshade louver to control the amount of direct sun light in the afternoon. This design keeps the house cool.
- The white cube on the first floor is the main volume of the construction. It hosts 2 bedrooms with bathroom and a large mezzanine along the staircase. In contrast with the ground floor, it’s a solid block with thick double bricks walls insulated to keep the house cool and Air Conditioning more efficient. 2 deep loggias with built-in planters are placed on South and East elevation of the construction. It underlines the minimalist composition. The dense vegetation helps to control views and brings privacy. On the mezzanine, a spiral second staircase leads to the upper floor.
- the second floor is the third separated volume recessed, set on the white cube. Pitched roof and walls are covered by slate tiles. An insulation layer over the concrete frame keeps this floor cool as well despite being exposed to sun heat all day round. Built-in planters with vegetation help to filter the direct sun light and control the views. The master bathroom and the lounge room open on a terrace on the east side.
All the way to the design process the sun path, the tropical climate and the surrounding environment have been considered to bring comfort, easy maintenance and relaxing feeling.