This concrete house, by Vietnam's Vo Trong Nghia Architects, keeps three generations of the same family naturally cool in tropical Ho Chi Minh City using clever passive design. Dubbed Binh House, it's part of the firm's House for Trees series, which aims to create oases of green in inner-city Vietnam.

Binh House has a total floorspace of 233 sq m (2,507 sq ft), spread over three floors, and a carefully-planned interior layout designed to allow each member of the family some privacy, though sight lines ensure a visual connection to most areas.

The interior layout also positions service areas, like the kitchen, bathrooms, stairs, and corridors in the west of the home. These act as buffer zones to keep more important areas, such as the living room, dining room and bedrooms cool. Binh House's greenery shades the home and its layout creates a stack effect. As was the case with the Fall House, this means that the pressure imbalance between the air inside and outside causes air to be drawn in, improving ventilation. Multiple sliding glass doors also aid ventilation.

It's worth mentioning that the house does have air-conditioning installed, but Vo Trong Nghia reports that it hasn't been needed since the project was completed in 2016.

Vegetation covers parts of the exterior and helps to soften the overall look of the textured concrete. The garden areas are extensive: the rooftop features a fruit tree garden, while there's also a terraced vegetable garden and another garden terrace next to the home's library, each of which open to the outside with voids in the concrete facade. Planters provide privacy for an outdoor jacuzzi spa and there's an internal garden in the living room, plus yet another garden in a small courtyard area.

We do wonder about moisture being an issue, but presumably Vo Trong Nghia has taken such practical concerns into consideration.

The project highlights the impressive versatility of a firm that's just as happy working with complex bamboo structures, low-cost homes, and large apartment complexes as it is with luxury homes.

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