In 2009 I was approached by a previous client (Madison Bleu Retail Store) to propose two options for the development of a double lot in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam. The Owner's constraints were; it had to be easily adaptable from office to residential should market conditions change to favor one or the other, it had to be high performance and energy efficient, and it should be a signature building evoking Western design ideas.
I started by investigating what the local construction labor is familiar with in terms of construction, materials, and practices. I'd also be required to work with in the metric system since that is the system of measurement utilized throughout this part of the world. Studying the local climate in Ho Chi Min City was also a high priority and I found that the building would have to shed a lot of rain during the monsoon, and during the warm months the building orientation could take advantage of prevailing winds for cooling.
The first concept (Option A) is a cast in place concrete building as this is one of the most common methods of construction that would be familiar to the local construction labor force. The second concept (Option B) is a combination of cast in place concrete with a metal rain skin, glass, and wood decking to determine where our potential client's comfort level would be.
Location: Ho Chi Minh City, VN