Labrie House provides shelter to humans and “plant friends” in Vietnam
Birds, butterflies and trees are co-owners of Labri, a glass house in Vietnam designed by local studio Nguyen Khai Architects & Associates.
The 55-square-metre house, which was shortlisted for the Dezeen Awards’ Urban Home category, was created by a couple for a site next to a large pond in Hue City.
Nguyen Khai Architects & Associates (NKAA) was given a simple brief that called for only one floor of living space and included plenty of outdoor areas.
The studio took this opportunity to design a home that was as suited to the client as it was to the local wildlife and plants, which it said now made up “the majority of the living members”.
“We asked ourselves what it would be like to live under the same roof with our vegan friends,” the studio told Dezeen.
“It was our desire to create a deeper connection between humans and nature in this modern, technological world.”
La Bree’s living spaces are divided into four overlapping blocks connected by corridors and composed of a combination of glass and concrete. Each is covered in sprawling vines and is home to a large frangipani tree on the roof.
NKAA placed blocks of different sizes “randomly” on just over half of the 100-square-metre site, giving away the rest of the plot to a series of internal gardens and courtyards to encourage local wildlife.
The roofs, accessed by fixed stairs, are intended to emulate the feeling of walking up a mountain while the four blocks are intended to evoke the caves within.
“Walking on the roof of the house is like walking through an undulating mountain range. Under the mountains, there are cool and safe caves,” the NKAA said.
Inside La Brea, one building contains the living and dining space, while the other contains a kitchen. The other two consist of a bathroom and a sleeping area.
The blocks are unified by their deliberately simple designs, devoid of internal partitions and solid walls that allow residents to “see through each space.” However, some privacy is provided to the outside by the vines and greenery.
An NKAA combination of concrete and glass was chosen throughout the home to achieve a minimalist look, which she said fit “Labri’s concept, where everything is abstract, simple and original.”
To prevent overheating, many openable doors and windows have been used to facilitate natural ventilation, while greenery helps shade the interiors. La Bree’s proximity to the pond also helps cool the air during the summer months, the NKAA said.
Greenery is a common feature in many Vietnamese homes. In Ho Chi Minh City, MIA Design Studio recently created a concrete house with prominent cubic-shaped planters.
Another Vietnamese studio that often combines plants and architecture is Vo Trong Nghia Architects, with recent examples including Bat Trang House and Ha Long Villa.
Photography by Hiroyuki Aoki.