In the scorching heat of summers past, a vivid memory persists for over 70 years. Under the sheltering embrace of an ancient tree, children would gather and create a small tent, fondly called the “House.” They sought refuge from the sun and embarked on playful adventures. Some felled trees, while others carefully cut leaves to decorate the tents, creating captivating havens. Once the “House” was complete, they would search for items to furnish their leafy abode.
The leaf hut symbolized our cherished childhood, where we engaged in captivating games and listened to stories that still resonate as if they happened only yesterday. This simple hut elevated our young spirits in the impoverished countryside of our youth.
During our initial visit to the project, an elderly family man took the time to share this nostalgic tale. He wished for his grandchildren to experience the same magical childhood he had enjoyed. This desire gave birth to “TREE HOUSE by THE LAKE,” nestled beneath towering perennial conch trees, amidst a picturesque countryside with serene waters. With a focus on reducing costs and minimizing environmental impact, we primarily employed local “scrap” materials to complete this endeavor, blending seamlessly with the existing landscape and nature.
Our modern lives, filled with comfort and development, often demand trade-offs from our immediate surroundings, such as nature and the community. Recognizing this, the elderly gentleman aspired to offer his dear grandchildren an immersive experience filled with connection, fun, and learning, enveloped by nature’s love. Thus, during the project’s survey process, we endeavored to preserve the inherent tranquility of the countryside. Instead of constructing a massive reinforced concrete building, we sought harmony with nature. Our quest led us to discover discarded materials, referred to as “scrap,” salvaged from old projects or acquired inexpensively from nearby construction sites. By repurposing these materials, we aimed to minimize the disruption to the surrounding context.
“Scrap” denotes materials that have reached the end of their intended lifecycle, destined for recycling or abandonment. Regardless of the chosen course, their disposal impacts both the environment and people. Instead of discarding them, we breathed new life into these materials while minimizing environmental harm. Through reusing them while still useful, we repurposed “scrap” with the least possible impact.
The building seamlessly melds with nature, encompassing both its choice of materials and architectural solutions. An open design invites people to connect closely with nature, fostering a bond between individuals, nature itself, and the community.
Inspired by the enchanting conch forest, the tranquil lake, and the grandfather’s childhood “House,” we conceived a dwelling that harmonizes with nature, welcoming refreshing breezes and basking in the serenity of the countryside. True to its name, “TREE HOUSE by THE LAKE” emerged from the earth, relying on majestic mother-of-pearl trees, and fashioned from weathered “scrap” materials, lending an appearance of timelessness. This vision ensures minimal disruption to the forest’s landscape while evoking the spirit of the grandfather’s cherished hut, passed down to his grandchildren.
The building exudes a rustic and idyllic charm, characterized by weathered materials. Its interiors and furnishings remain simple and lightweight, inviting sunlight, wind, and the presence of trees to dance within. Upon moving into their new abode, the children displayed an insatiable curiosity, akin to fish in the water, instinctively exploring, learning, and reveling in play. They frolicked freely, running, jumping, climbing, or resting and crawling as they pleased.
If each of us can “reuse” or repurpose what is considered “scrap,” thereby reintegrating them into a sustainable lifecycle with
Area: 120 m²
Photographs: Dũng Huỳnh