Ambitious renovation turns dark and moldy building into lush oasis
There has been a concerted effort to reintroduce some greenery to Vietnam's inner-city areas in recent years. This latest example comes from design studio Sava, which has revealed plans for a dramatic renovation of what it calls a dark and moldy retail building into a light and greenery filled oasis that will be fronted by stacked concrete planters.
Bringing to mind work by Heatherwick Studio, the Thavi Cosmetic Showroom will involve renovating a three-story electrical and home appliances retail store, which was originally built in the early 2000s in Vietnam's Vinh City. The client requested that Sava add an abundance of natural light and native greenery, as well as an inviting facade.
"Typically, buildings in Vinh City tend to be hastily constructed without much consideration for well-being, or are simply replicated from European Colonial styles," explained Sava. "Sava's proposal, however, is a modern interpretation of tropical architecture that carefully considers the local culture and climate.
"Sava's solution is to use fiber-reinforced concrete (FRP) planters as the building facade. The planters are designed in modules for higher quality and quicker fabrication, and their sizes have been optimized for easy transportation using standard trucks available in Vietnam."
The project will demolish an existing staircase and floor slab at the center of the building to create an airy atrium space that's naturally illuminated by a large skylight. A decorative curved metal staircase will be installed in its place, wrapping around new plants and trees. Greenery will also be introduced elsewhere throughout the interior.
Additionally, the front and rear facades will be opened up to daylight and a corrugated roof will be removed to accommodate a rooftop terrace with both a café and an open air dining space with yet more concrete planters growing shrubs and plants.
The Thavi Cosmetic Showroom will begin construction later this year, though we've no word yet on when it will be completed.