Vietnam design firm H & P Architects went back to the basics with the construction of its Brick Cave townhome. Situated in the urban area of Hanoi, the cave-like dwelling cleverly utilizes nature's cues instead of relying on man-made tactics.
The 2,045 square-foot space is made of steel, concrete beams and brick. The exterior consists of two layered brick walls. Within the outer wall, the space features brick flooring accentuated by various plants, balconies and sitting areas that offer occupants unique views. The bricks are positioned in a way that filters out dust, noise and light coming in from the western sunrise, while strategically allowing subtle amounts of light, wind and rain to permeate the space as needed.
"The combination of 'close' and 'open' creates diverse relations with the surroundings and thus helps blur the boundaries between in and out, houses and streets/alleys, Human and Nature," says H & P of the structure's double-layer design.
The cave also features a glass roof, vegetable garden, dining area, and kitchen, along with plenty of storage spaces, a multifunctional space and an area designated for worship. The dwelling's off-kilter architecture gives it an asymmetrical design where shadows and changes in air flow are utilized as primitive time and weather-tracking methods as opposed to technology.
Of the Brick Cave, H & P says, "Brick Cave reminds its users of emotional pieces of both strangeness and familiarity by offering them images of corners of a yard, expanses of the sky, strips of a garden, and parts of an alley… which is tentative to uses of space at different times in a typical tropical monsoon climate of the North of Vietnam. This, therefore, truly brings to users an interesting and enjoyable experience as they are accommodated in a sense of a large open space harmonized with a comfort of a safe shelter."