Tran Thi Ngu Ngon is the co-founder of Tropical Space, an acclaimed Vietnamese architectural firm located in Ho Chi Minh City.

“We try to focus on basic form, purity of material, and the simplicity of space. We try to use light mostly as our main material to create space, and we try to teach people to be more sustainable in the future.” – Tran Thi Ngu Ngon

Specializing in design, master planning, architecture, landscape, and interior design, Tropical Space is dedicated to using environmentally friendly construction methods and natural content sourcing with a deep understanding of the Vietnamese community and nature. Tropical Space strives to please its consumers with innovative, economical, sustainable and unique concepts.

Here are ten of the top projects of Tropical Space exhibiting its philosophies and ideals:

1. Cuckoo House

The Cuckoo House is for a family of 4-members (parents and 2 kids) combined with a coffee shop in Da Nang, Vietnam. The project has an architectural form that resembles the Cuckoo Clock and is designed in local clay brick that gives the user a familiar feeling. Like customary, most of the daily activities of people usually take place in usable spaces. Tropical Space detaches walls that are used to define these spaces and provide a buffer space. Such buffer layers are used flexibly, linking the house’s indoor and outdoor that could make family activities both private and open while allowing open ventilation to all corners of the house, cooling it in the tropical summer.

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Cuckoo House ©Oki Hiroyuki
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Cuckoo House ©Oki Hiroyuki
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Cuckoo House ©Oki Hiroyuki

2. Termitary House

The Termitary House was built in Da Nang, Vietnam‘s central coastal town which is affected every year by several tropical storms. The climate in this region varies greatly from sunny to rainy season. Inspired by the special ability of the termites to create their nests in the local area, the architect built the house with a large gathering area in the center, kitchen counter, a dining table and an entertaining corner. Then this “lobby” branches out to various usable areas in the house such as the restroom, living room, and bedrooms. Another bedroom, an altar room, and a small library are located in the mezzanine. The Termitary House has integrated the positive elements of a tropical context by taking the best advantage of ventilation, lighting system and natural air conditioning process.

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Termitary House ©Oki Hiroyuki
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Termitary House ©Oki Hiroyuki
Termitary House ©Oki Hiroyuki

3. Organicare Showroom

Orgarnicare is a showroom of Vietnam traditional fish sauce and organic products. A renovated old house, the showroom has been built as a cohesive frame system for the façade and interior, mixing brick and metal that is used as shelves for displaying the items. Based on the product size, this frame device can be modified and removed flexibly. In addition to honoring the importance of traditional Vietnamese fish sauce, Tropical Space’s design also honors the traditional clay brick’s value.

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Organicare Showroom ©Quang Dam
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Organicare Showroom ©Quang Dam
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Organicare Showroom ©Quang Dam

4. Long An House 

Inspired by the traditional Vietnamese house, the architects wanted to design a house taking cues from traditional structure, supported by three separate spaces and a sloping roof, but using a new and strong architectural vocabulary. By dividing the roof into two sections and providing a courtyard, optimizing ventilation efficiency, they allocated two corridors to connect the roof. A courtyard and wide walls were created this way. These are transparent walls that can allow the house breeze. They wanted a continuous space between the inside and outside the room so that the kids can play and move freely throughout the house without being limited by separate walls.

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Long An House ©Hiroyuki Oki
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Long An House ©Hiroyuki Oki
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Long An House ©Hiroyuki Oki

5. Terra Cotta Studio

The project is located near the river Thu Bon in of Quang Nam. Located in a context of traditional art villages of terra cotta, mat and silk, the studio is intended to be a place where the artist’s emotion with his completed and unfinished artworks will be stored, considered and distributed. The project is a meeting and connecting destination for people who love terra cotta and want the clay experience. A bamboo frame scaffold used to dry terra cotta items is around the building. It’s also built to rest, relax and have tea with two wide benches. This scaffold also acts at the same time as a fence to isolate the studio from the entire workshop area.

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Terra Cotta Studio ©Hiroyuki Oki
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Terra Cotta Studio ©Hiroyuki Oki
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Terra Cotta Studio ©Hiroyuki Oki
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Author

Paushali Raha is an architect with the writer bug. Her love for history and literature has helped her understand the true amalgamation of storytelling and architecture. Amidst the chaos of varied vocations, she hopes to promote social architecture through practice and words.

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