The Chau Doc House by Nishizawa Architects Blends into its Surroundings

The Chau Doc House by Nishizawa Architects was designed as a shared home for three couples with children. This contemporary home design is a little unusual in comparison to what we normally feature, however, we admire the openness of the space as well as the innovative use of materials which adhere to an environmentally friendly approach.

Completed in 2017 by the Vietnamese architecture firm founded by Shunri Nishizawa, this house respects and blends with the surrounding environment.

Based on the area’s weather conditions as well as the harsh natural environment, which poses threats of flooding at times, the architects aimed to create a spacious and light home that connects to the surrounding landscape. First, the shape of the roof was inverted into butterfly-roof. Covering all three roofs on the site in this manner opens the interior space up to more light as well as the surrounding environment.

Another step by Nishizawa Architects included hanging up rotating metal windows throughout the home, which controls the amount of natural light and winds blowing through. Getting rid of the solid walls inside the house and replacing them with mobile dividers allows the interior to transform into one bigger space, something that we can recognize as a key element in midcentury modern design.

Interior and exterior spaces seamlessly blend into one another through various natural elements. Screens from the open plan kitchen and dining area open to outside, where lush greenery surrounds the house. 

Floating timber frames on concrete columns live up to regional customs inside and outside, while at the same time follow modern design principles by blending within the surrounding environment. The seemingly floating timber frames inside form private living areas while a large communal area is placed downstairs. The innovative use of materials includes the aforementioned, locally-sourced, timber and traditional carpentry techniques.

Photos by Hiroyuki Oki

The Chau Doc House also brings the outdoors in by way of indoor gardens as well as a water feature by a sitting area, resembling an outside stream. The combination of the timber frames, rotating metal windows, abundance of plants as well as views over a rice field constitute a breezy, relaxed atmosphere throughout the building.