Shunri Nishizawa, principal architect of Nishizawa Architects is unlike others in the profession who hunt for prominence. Working with Tadao Ando and two years of partnership practice lead to the creation of the firm. Here they believe in happy contentment with the work they do and enjoying their own architecture.

1. Thong House

LOCATION- Saigon, Vietnam | STATUS- Completed in 2014

This house is a composition of cubes placed in an alternate manner supported through a central spine. These blocks create bedrooms and private living spaces while the space underneath function as family areas. A narrow entrance gives the way inside the living room with an opening at the end acting as a wind tunnel. The staircase has been placed centrally and exhibits the various functional spaces from the living room to the roof garden covering the fourth level. Interiors are minimally furnished with carved wooden panels bringing in light. Generous openings and the finished concrete provide the characteristic contemporary aesthetics to the residence.

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2. Ben Thanh Restaurant

LOCATION- Saigon, Vietnam| STATUS- Completed in 2017

This is a renovation project to a heritage building built in French colonial architecture style in the heart of the Saigon market. The approach is to preserve the heritage and innovate according to the changing city’s trends. A sensitive attempt has been made to enrich the interior space with the ethics of the past along with modern freshness. The twentieth-century façade is parted using glass jalousie, overlooking the street and bringing the Saigon culture inside. Light fencing along the balconies to invite light and wind. The material choice works in coherence with the existing ones having human imprint. This project exhibits the co-existence of the past with the changing social and living trends. 

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3. Restaurant of Shade

LOCATION- Saigon, Vietnam | STATUS- Completed in 2018

The site lies in an urban setting with multi storey residences and high-rise offices all around. The building functions as a backside to urban development in the vicinity. This project houses plants and humans, interiors, and exterior all under a mere architectural net. The net conventionally is used to block the harsh sun of this tropical city. At Restaurant of Shade, it gains a new function, to define space with light, shade, and shadows. Tropical vegetation is integrated well with the covered interiors and the semi-covered terrace seating. A beautiful composition of greens, wind, and light is achieved through the design.

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4. NISHIZAWA ARCHITECTS Office

LOCATION- Saigon, Vietnam | STATUS- Completed in 2015

The architect’s office is an example of a column-free working interior with minimal furnishing. Nishizawa Architects Corp is built beneath a six-story residential building, in a property that was intended to be used as parking space. An agreement with nature is truly experienced as the sunlight lighten-up the deep interior space. The presence of a hardscaped waterbody shimmering light on the ceiling is noticeable. Cross ventilation through the two open ends, white painted brick walls are attempts that redefine the office volume. 

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5. Katzden Factory

LOCATION- Binh Duong | STATUS- Completed in 2015

Katzden Factory exhibits a new approach to design factory set-ups. The building is enveloped using bricks, natural clay in color, and contrast with the monotonous factory-like surrounding. The roof above is corrugated metal with a central puncture for the tropical garden inside. The structure is based on a grid system to keep up with the restricted budget. The flow of air through the rotating doors keeps the working environment alive inside. This construction is an outstanding and simplistic solution to factory design.

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6. House in Chau Doc

LOCATION- Chau Doc, Vietnam| STATUS- Completed in 2017

Basic design considerations of using local materials and regional construction techniques are the key features here. The inverted roof made using corrugated metal and wooden battens cover the entire site. An open internal plan creates a feeling of living in semi-outdoor gardens. The Traditional fixed walls of a typical Vietnamese house are here replaced with the use of light, movable partitions to achieve big continuous living space. Corrugated metal windows are hung on the open sides to ease the adjustment of incoming sunlight and wind. The design speaks of the typical living culture of the place along with facing climatic challenges.

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7. Stacking Green House

LOCATION- Saigon, Vietnam | STATUS- Completed in 2012

Streets surrounded by tropical plants and balconies over-loaded with flower pots are a distinct characteristic of Saigonese culture. Stacking Green House is designed as an attempt to incorporate this feature at a micro-level in a residence. The front and back façades have been provided with concrete bands to function as planters. The band widths and horizontal distance between the planters are worked-up to facilitate proper irrigation. Skylights are provided to lighten the typically dark interiors. The façade and the terrace garden protect the house from the harsh sun, street noise, and pollution. The design exhibits a harmonizing relationship between the residents and the greens.

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8. Binh Thanh House

LOCATION- Saigon, Vietnam | STATUS- Completed in 2013

This house is a successful attempt that brings traditional living in harmony with modern interpretations. The client profile has a variety, three generations to be housed under one roof demanding the accommodation of different lifestyles together. The site sits in a diverging context, facing a noisy street and lying close to the water canal and lush greenery of the zoo. The design is a composition of two alternately placed blocks. A free-flowing plan allowing the users to enjoy nature in a modern setting. A small garden is created on each floor inviting fresh air. Façade composition of concrete blocks protects the interiors from the harsh sun and heavy traffic noise and maintains safety. Curved surfaces are used in a thoughtful way to achieve light effects through the living spaces.

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9. Restaurant in Ha Noi

LOCATION- Ha Noi, Vietnam | STATUS- Completed in 2015

‘Streetscape enclosed within an old factory.’ The unique Hanoi bricks from the locality create an impressive entrance to the restaurant. Two skylights at the height of 11 meters lighten-up the pizzeria. A central internal garden with tropical plants allows visitors to appreciate natural beauty, refreshing the interiors.

Restaurant in Ha Noi
©https://www.nishizawaarchitects.com/

10. ANH House

LOCATION- Saigon, Vietnam | STATUS- Completed in 2013

This project is about architects taking on the typical Vietnamese ‘tube house.’ A tube house is characterized by a deep plot with a relatively very less front width, no possible openings on the two longer sides resulting in dark interiors and fixed partition walls. The house is structured on four concrete slabs, placed at different levels. Light voids are created with the staggered slabs which along with tropical plants freshen-up the interiors. The jalousie window system used has achieved the desired air-flow within the residence. The traditional fixed partitions are replaced by light, translucent partitions. The distinct lifestyle of the client is catered by distinct architectural solutions notably.

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11. Office of HCMC Museum

LOCATION- Saigon, Vietnam | STATUS- Competition entry

The proposal depicts an impressive design approach that exhibits contemporary design with a respect to the deep cultural origins of the place. The Building is intended to function as an administrative head office to the museum built in the French architectural style. To keep up with the essence of the campus, the designer used the tools of ‘Arc, Order, and Layer’ to characterize this colonial period. Harmony with the surrounding monuments achieved through simplistic material choice is a remarkable attempt.

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12. Binh Duong School

LOCATION- Binh Duong, Vietnam | STATUS- Completed in 2012

The school is designed as a continuous volume having a subtle relationship with nature. The S-shaped building has its functions converging towards the two open courts- one for formal parent-teacher interaction and student activities each. The built form resembles a man-made hill negotiating between the built height and the tranquil low-lying site amidst the tropical forest. Vertical louvers create the building envelope. Corridors connect the classrooms to natural beauty. The precast concrete shading devices present to soothe the journey through these passages. The design aims to build a borderless learning experience in the school premises, harmonized with the site surrounding. The openness along the way and the well-integrated spaces facilitate interactive and creative learning in the school.

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13. University Renovation

LOCATION- Saigon, Vietnam | STATUS- Competition entry

The National University organized a design competition to find a solution to the degrading existing block. Thinking of a façade that defines the architectural aesthetics of the building and plays smartly with the acute northwestern sun radiations was the design challenge. The proposed design is an inspired representation of three-dimensional louvers. The surface open viewpoints from inside along with blocking the harsh sunlight. Green pockets and impressive ‘light and shadow’ effect changing the views along the path are distinct features of the design. 

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14. Da Lat Farm

LOCATION- Da Lat | STATUS- Ongoing

This project is a complex collection of dairy functions. It includes a dairy cow barn, a cheese factory, and a restaurant for the pizza lovers, all under one roof. The site lies on a highland with challenges to cut the heat and retain the rainwater. The architect aims to harmonize the built architecture with the natural scenery present in the context. An attempt has been made to comfort the dominant user of the building- the cows. Cows enjoying the environment and producing high-quality milk is the end product intended to achieve. Climate responsiveness and the space composition of the functional areas remains the key consideration in the designing process.

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15. Harbour Restaurant

LOCATION- Chiba, Japan | STATUS- Competition entry

Conceptual competition entry with an unusual dine-in experience. The built form pictured as an assembly of lego blocks, as visible from the roadside. Perforations in the façade complementing beautifully with the light penetrating through it. A lively atmosphere in the dining space with a pianist performing alongside the diners. 

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Author

Compulsive speaker and an attentive ear to the other side of the story. She believes in the power of architecture and stars.

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