BiBi House / Atelier TAs

27 July 2022 -
Richard Pinson
BiBi house is located within a tiny ward in the Dong Nai province of Vietnam. The young owner, a software engineer, wanted an ‘open house’ for his family, including his mother and sister. The main request was to connect everyone in the house via the altar so that they could organize and celebrate their traditional Vietnamese holidays and other family occasions together with their ancestors.

Keeping this demand in mind, the architects designed the house featuring two isolated boxes serving as the bedroom and auxiliary space. Outside the private boxes are common spaces where many people can gather and celebrate, and between the boxes is a huge void that would serve as the dining room. Connecting the two secluded boxes is a steel bridge.

This was chosen rather than a concrete corridor because the architects wanted to use a different material than that used for the boxes, plus it also creates the impression of a larger space.

Two balconies extending to the void were also constructed in boxes where people could intermingle. It was arranged on the balcony on the second floor facing the front of the house when it came back to the altar. Thanks to a wide area extending from the ceiling to the ground floor, guests entering the house can easily spot the altar on the balcony.

The other balcony serves as a relaxing space for the bedroom. All indoor spaces, even the toilets, were designed to be naturally lit during the day. Two skylights were built above both balconies to fulfil this requirement, allowing the sun's rays to shine directly onto them. Skylights also enhance other aspects of Mother Nature – the sun's early morning rays, the mild afternoon sun, the moonlight night and stars, and rain.

As for the materials used, the owners wanted something close to nature. So, we used materials with earthy and neutral tones inside and outside the house, such as raw concrete, raw brick, natural stone, and timber. These materials are not only durable, but as they age, they echo nature’s time. Moreover, using raw bricks with uneven colors for the floor creates a unique sense of spatial transformation, creating a fascinating courtyard with bold and light areas.

Photo by Quang Dam