Like many inner-city residential areas, the Tan Binh district in Vietnam's Ho Chi Min City is rather lacking in greenery. Local firm Vo Trong Nghia Architects sought to make daily life more comfortable for one family by constructing something of a private oasis within the bustling metropolis.

The recently-completed House for Trees was constructed at a cost of US$156,000, and features a total floorspace of 226 sq m (2,432 sq ft). The home is separated into five large boxes which differ in height and sport green roofs that's home to trees which grow within a 1.5 m (4.9 ft) deep layer of soil.

In addition to making life more pleasant for the residents, the green roofs also serve a practical purpose, adding insulation and a degree of stormwater protection to the home.

Each of the boxes that make up House for Trees was built using a bamboo formwork and concrete, and feature a ventilated cavity between the concrete outer walls and inner brick walls to reduce heat transfer. Common spaces like the lounge and dining area lie on street level, while private areas such as the bathroom and bedrooms are upstairs.

A generous partly-shaded courtyard also lies between the boxes, and a handy series of footbridges enable the residents to navigate between some of the upper levels without being required to descend to the ground.

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