Living in a quality life alongside the flood-prone area easy not something anyone would have thought about. Like obviously, you don’t know when nature will act harshly. However, three families living with their children’s house in Chau doc, Vietnam not only thought about it but took an action for that. How? Let’s see.

Renovation of House in Chau Doc
A view of a sunset from House in Chau Doc roof
House in Chau Doc stairs
A balcony with potted plants and a table
House in Chau Doc kitchen with a table and stools on a wooden floor

They contacted Nishizawa Architects and told everything about the situation and their needs. Nishizawa Architects is a Siagon-based studio led by Shunri Nishizawa located in Ho Chi Minh City.

A hammock sitting on a porch next to a tree
House in Chau Doc kitchen with a wooden floor and stairs
House in Chau Doc room with a table, chairs, plants and a fire place
A table and chairs in a room with wooden floors
House in Chau Doc kitchen

Chau Doc is a border town close to the Cambodian boundary developed along the Mekong River’s branch. It takes 7 hours of traveling from Ho Chi Minh city by bus and ferry to finally arrive in this town with the environmental surrounding.

House in Chau Doc room that has a table and chairs in it
A room with a wooden floor and a metal gate
A room with a wooden floor and a bench

After examining the surrounding and examining the lifestyle of locals, Nishizawa came to the common ground of fetching raw materials from surroundings and creating an outlook and interiors of houses complying with the local standards and regionality.

A staircase inside of a building with wooden slats
A view of a building through a window
A room with a wooden floor and a table and chairs
A large open room with a wooden roof

According to the architects, the area has divided into several layers: 1) floating houses on the river, 2) an embanked road on two sides with main traffic for locals 3) plenty of pilotis houses on the other side of the road extended by the small private bridges, 4) last one, endless greenery of rice fields.

A room that has a bunch of plants in it

Here the pilotis houses are combined with stone or concrete columns on the ground and timber frames with corrugated metal panels. This area had height limitation up to the extent to save it from flood and limited dimensions for the use of timber frames as they follow the local daily floor-sitting lifestyle. 

A couple of chairs on top of a wooden floor

As said the architects learned the deep culture of the people living there and then designed the reconstruction of three houses in Chau doc. Let’s look at the details of the project:

  • Project Name: Houses in Chau Doc
  • Location: Chau Doc, Vietnam
  • Year: 2017
  • Architect: Nishizawa Architects

As described to Archdaily by Nishizawa Architects, the project focused on three new architectural prospects apart from using locally available timber and corrugated metal panels:

Nishizawa architects  Houses in Chau Doc design
House in Chau Doc plan layout

1) To invert the roof shape from an ordinal-roof into a butterfly-roof in order to open the interior space to the surrounding environment, and then cover all the site by 3 butterfly-roofs in different heights.

House in Chau Doc design drawing

2) To hang up rotating metal windows from end to end at the big openings between each roof and façades to adjust the amount of sunlight and natural wind.

Nishizawa architects design houses

3) To replace all the internal solid walls into movable partitions to create one big continuous space.

drawing of House in Chau Doc

The main aim of integrating these three principles was to admire contemporary space with all the natural elements like sunlight, wind, water, soil, and plantings. To retain the regional culture the exterior wall was constructed using concrete but the woven bamboo pattern was blended.

Nishizawa architects


This way the Nishizawa architects helped three families to have a quality living with the cultural touch and spirit in the existing houses in Chau doc.

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