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Thao Dien House: Open Plan with Living Walls

Thao Dien House, located in Thao Dien, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, went through an extensive renovation to transform it from a closed Art Deco design into a modern and spacious open plan. The new indoor – outdoor lifestyle includes privacy walls – created from vertical landscaping. The architectural elements, interior and landscape design are the creation of MM++ Architects – the renovation was done using the existing structure. The finished result is a 280sqm white cube shaped home with two vertical gardens added on the front and back of the home for privacy and natural ventilation.

The renovation reduced the home to its most minimal expression with the social zone on the main level and the private zone of two bedrooms and a large master suite upstairs.
The vertical gardens have the added benefit of visually tying the home into the surrounding landscaped areas, thereby reducing the overall impact of the building on the site.
The original structure had a small backyard terrace with an oval pool a few feet away. The new design has extended the terrace out to the edge of the new pool which is now an “L” shape positioning its stepped down entry at the side of the new terrace.
The architects also designed a wood canopy over the terrace to provide shade on those hot summer days.
The shade canopy is an open slat construction rather then a completely closed one so that the rising heat can escape.
The space between the shade canopy and the pool are almost equal distance to that of the green belt between the pool and the property fence.
The main entrance is positioned midway on the building at the point where the vertical landscaping and the architectural hardscaping meet. The entry opens directly to the social zone.
Although there is a main entrance, the social zone is fully open to the outdoors on three sides, blurring the lines between what is inside and what is outside.
The living, dining and kitchen areas are merged into one wide-open modern space, a far cry from how they began before the renovation.
The 30% cost saving of using the existing concrete structure allowed the architects to add new exciting elements to the building such as this ultra modern and totally amazing relocated stairwell.
The stairwell is positioned away from the window and is a suspension design that hangs off of its double sided steel balustrade.
Even though the property line and a fence is just a few feet away from the window, the landscaping creates a lush and exciting view.
The dining area consists of a beautiful timber table with matching bench on the window side and 3 cozy shell chairs opposite. The bench and table emphasize the indoor / outdoor scenario by presenting a picnic table aesthetic.
The dining room is positioned next to the kitchen and the white cabinetry used throughout the kitchen is extended into the dining area with a slight twist. Here, the cabinetry consists of open and closed storage units in an irregular pattern with a solid black back of the open units. The overall effect is fluid, fun and very dynamic.
The kitchen also plays with black by featuring the dramatic color on the backside of the bar and then framing it with a white kick and countertop.
Aside from the pool, terrace, living, dining and kitchen areas, the main floor also includes two washrooms and storage areas.
The stairs lead up to a landing with three bedrooms off of it. Two regular sized bedrooms – each with their own ensuite – and a spacious master suite recreated out of two pre-existing smaller bedrooms.
The bedrooms feature the same white cabinetry as downstairs and each opens up to one of the two vertical gardens. It is from this vantage point that you can really appreciate the privacy created by the gardens.
From down below the bedroom windows are completely hidden from view.
The vertical garden surrounding the master suite hides an additional feature other then the windows.
It hides an outdoor shower positioned just outside the master bath.
The master bath features a stunning trough sink with wall-mounted faucets and a super contemporary tub. As if that wasn’t enough, there is also that option of having either an indoor or outdoor shower.
Upstairs as with downstairs, it’s all about the landscaping and blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor lifestyles and bringing life a little closer to nature.
MM++ architects
Photography by Hiroyuki OKI


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