Architecture is the ultimate cultural time capsule. It not only embodies how its designers hope to be perceived in the future, but it also reflects the cultural identity of the present. Consider culturally diverse architecture as a physical record of the social, political, and economic dynamics of the populations it represents. No other type of art more effectively depicts how people around the world interact, work, and enjoy themselves. It is possible to learn more about the past and present of any country. The Vietnamese people successfully staged an uprising to capture power in August 1945 under the guidance of the Communist Party led by President Ho Chi Minh, and on September 2nd, 1945, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was established. The architecture of Vietnam has been evolving for four thousand years. They began with the stilted home where residents could dwell on the second story while keeping their farm animals on the ground floor. The roof is simply constructed to resemble a turtle’s shell or a sampan turned on its side.

An architectural review of a location: Vietnam - Sheet1
Beauty of Vietnam_©

Vietnam at a Glance

Vietnam is renowned for being a well-liked travel destination due to its stunning beaches, culture, incredible cuisine, and hospitable people. Vietnam is also well-known for its floating markets, rice terraces, motorbikes, and Vietnamese coffee. Vietnam is a long, narrow country with an ‘S-shaped outline. It is located in Southeast Asia, near the Indochina peninsula’s easternmost point. China is its northern neighbour, and Laos and Cambodia are its western borders. To the east and south is the South China Sea. Vietnam is a remarkable nation that touches the hearts and spirits of everyone who travels there, making them wish they had more time to explore and learn more about its distinctive culture. Vietnam is the place for you if you want to explore a country through its cuisine, search for the best beaches, or go off the main path.

An architectural review of a location: Vietnam - Sheet2
Location of Vietnam_©

Brief History of Vietnam

The country of Vietnam is situated in what is known as the “cradle of mankind,” one of the earliest agricultural hubs where wet rice farming was practised and the site of the stone and metallurgical revolutions. The Van Lang State, Vietnam’s earliest state, was founded in the seventh century B.C. based on socioeconomic development during the Dong Son Era and the struggle against natural calamities and foreign invasion. The people of Van Lang (and later Au Lac) built a civilisation that had an impact on all of Southeast Asia through their tenacity and ingenuity. The development of a diverse economy and an advanced civilisation known as the Red River Civilization (or Dong Son Civilization), symbolised by the Dong Son bronze drum, coincided with the establishment of the first State in the history of Viet Nam. This heritage reflects the essence of the way of life, traditions, and culture of the prehistoric Vietnamese people. Numerous foreign aggressions committed in the guise of constructing a nation had to be faced by the Vietnamese people. Over 12 centuries, the Vietnamese were forced to launch countless conflicts and uprisings against foreign aggressions, beginning with the resistance war against the Qin Dynasty in the third century B.C. and concluding in the late 20th century. Using lesser, weaker forces before much larger ones have become the driving principle in national defence conflicts involving the Vietnamese people.

An architectural review of a location: Vietnam - Sheet3
Golden Bridge of Da Nang city_©

Architecture of Vietnam

The term “Vietnamese architecture” refers to the architectural design employed in Vietnam as a result of historical development as well as the incorporation and absorption of regional and global architectural styles. Vietnamese architecture is created to meet daily requirements such as protection from heat and rain and a place to come home to after work. The designs of community homes, pagodas, temples, family churches, citadels, palaces, and residences represent Vietnamese architecture. Vietnamese were constructed in Vietnam’s ancient architecture using materials like wood and bamboo. There are two distinct sorts of homes, each with a roof that curves either up like a boat or down like a turtle’s shell. The first fortress to be built in Vietnam, the spiral-shaped C Loa fortification, was constructed by An Dng Vng in the second century BC. As a result, the name C Loa means “old spiral,” with c standing for ancient and loa for spiral. Vietnamese modern architecture has been affected by the West, and at the same time, East-West design has been absorbed and blended with its personality to shape the architecture as it is now.

An architectural review of a location: Vietnam - Sheet4
Different style of Vietnam Architecture_©

Classification of Vietnam Architecture

Vietnamese architecture is astounding and diverse, and it may be classified into four categories based on its historical periods: ancient, colonial, modern, and contemporary. Traditional Vietnamese architecture has certain recognisable characteristics. One of the most influential characteristics is ‘regional and localisation’. Each local has its style of their design, from the north to the south, and from ancient times up to now, the architecture of Vietnam is varied and diversified in structure and outlook. ‘Simple and humble’ is the next characteristic, except for the royal buildings. The details of the decoration are simple and light. One of the best characteristics is ‘Nature friendly’; it has a connection to the surrounding nature. From our look at the overview from the inside out. Details are balanced in great harmony. In all of the architecture, balancing is a priority for its beauty and stability through time. ‘Color and its combination’ is the next characteristic. All the buildings have their colour but the colour just adds to the value of use. Vernacular technique and the use of local material is the best part of Vietnam’s architecture. Local and traditional materials are used in architecture and construction that are available at the site or the area of construction for economic and identity purposes.

Dalat- A City of Vietnam_©

Conclusion: Vietnam and its Architecture

Whether you are an architect or architecture student or not, you will undoubtedly concur that architecture is a type of spatial organisation. Imagine living in a home without roofs or windows that allow you to see the sky outside from your chamber. It’s too boring! Thus labour and architectural styles are essential components of greatness. Talking about excellence, Vietnamese architecture is one of the best examples that show the preferences of Asian people when it comes to structures. The beginning of ancient architecture in Vietnam can be traced back four thousand years back, when houses were built on stilts. Stilt houses marked the start of traditional Vietnamese architecture, where the owners used the higher floor to live in, and the ground floor was used as a farm for the domestic animals to keep. They always stick to the local and traditional techniques and successfully glorify their identity with beautiful architecture.

Reference list:

Avanti Systems. (2019). Architecture Differences Across Cultures. [online] Available at:

Bucket List HQ. (2020). What is Vietnam known for? 12 Things That Make Vietnam the Country it is. [online] Available at:

Brief history of Vietnam. (n.d.). Brief history of Vietnam. [online] Available at:

Wikipedia. (2022). Vietnamese architecture. [online] Available at:

Anon, (2022). All About Vietnamese Architecture: #1 Easy Guide – Ling App. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 Dec. 2022].

Image list

  1. Beauty of Vietnam,
  1. Location of Vietnam,
  2. Golden Bridge of Da Nang city,
  3. Different style of Vietnam Architecture,
  4. Dalat- A City of Vietnam,

Architect Mohd. Afzal Khan graduated in Architecture with Honors from Jamia Millia Islamia – New Delhi. He has been enthusiast to uncover in architecture research work with a boundless passion to know more about the same. He has been fascinated by the historic nature and interest to discover the same.