Friday, March 9, 2012


Architects: a21 studio – Hiep Hoa Nguyen, Nhon Qui Nguyen, Hang Thi Tran, Tien Giao Ngo, Toan Dinh Nghiem
Location: , Vietnam
Model: Duy Huu Nguyen, Dung Van Nguyen
Project Year: 2012
Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki

In order to meet the increasing need of mud bath, i resort with Vietnam traditional architecture and innovation in space and structure gives new experience to tourists in Vietnam.

The resort is located in a small hill near the main river separating from Nha Trang city centre has the necessary calm, which help tourists enjoying high class mud bath services. In the first stage, the project aims to deliver testing hot springs on 7 ha over 30 ha in total.

In general, by using wood, rock, and local coconut leaf, lively materials, i resort is filled with harmony and native feelings. Adding to the main context, lotus ponds, gourd and flower gardens have softened typical sun in this tropical city.

Refer to the architecture, courtyard and mortise and tenon joint are particular highlighted through out buildings. Courtyard, as we know, is the result of cultural and climatic conditions in the region (Bekleyen et al., 2004).

Further more, the courtyard is also used as spatial generator and climate modifier. In this project, we organized the spaces flexibly so that they can adapt many functions and views in the buildings. As the result, the activities are taken place in the peace and quiet places.

Moreover, it allows solar gain and natural ventilation, which are suitable to Vietnam climate. However, overusing courtyards can increase the heat and brightness causing inconvenience to people. Inner gardens, roof materials and fenestration are carefully considered as the most appropriate solutions.

Nowadays, wood structure usually uses glue, nail or prefabricated connectors to link different components. Thus, the way that we use mortise and tenon joints can be judged as a new adoption to architecture.

These joints are easy to assemble and the connections are very strong, neat, and hard to be wobbled. In addition, most of the joints is hidden in the structure and this technique can be scaled up or down in size.

The only problem is it is difficult to work out and cut, thus, it might have the poor resistance to tension, especially if it is badly fitted. Luckily, one of our partners is skillful contractor who has strong experience in this type of structure.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Architect: Katz Architecture
Location: 547 West 27th Street, , New York, USA
MEP Engineer: Lilker Associates
Schematic Design: Charles Hemminger Associates
Lighting: Lighting Collaborative
Expediting: William Vitacco Associates
Custom Concrete: The Concrete Impressionist
Photographs: Julian Olivas of Air-to-Ground Photography




  • Located in a run down 19th century factory building, the space was an abandoned former taxi garage.
  • The space had heavy timber framing, which Katz highlighted by revealing the structure, leaving old floor joists and utilities open to public view.
  • Katz refinished the floor in polished concrete.

The Gallery:

The Sundaram Tagore Gallery is devoted to the exchange of ideas between Western and non-Western cultures. In keeping with its mission, the Gallery sought to bridge dualities when they moved into the ground floor of a manufacturing building in West Chelsea. The new space, which last served as a taxi garage, had to be completely overhauled to serve as a platform for cross-cultural discussion through visual art, poetry, literature, performance art, film and music.


The Design:

The backdrop for this discussion was a dialogue of contrasts – existing and pre-existing, industrial and natural, textured and smooth, old and new. The design attempted to reveal the history of the space, to bridge past and present and create an environment within which artwork can hover.

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