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Architecture towards District 4

Part 1 Project 2014
Jisoo Hwang
Architectural Association | UK
Vietnam is facing rapid population growth on the back of a booming economy and requires significant development to house its expanding population. In response, the government has begun a programme to develop underutilised sites in areas like District 4 of Ho-chi-minh City. However, these developments have struggled to connect with the populous, as whilst high rise living offers construction speed and value for money, the building thus far do not adhere to the intricacies of vernacular functional space. Therefore, these developments remain largely unoccupied, creating opportunity and necessity for an alternative bridging solution that merges modern living with local culture space norms.

This proposal aims to generate mixed-use developments that are tailored to District 4 of Ho-chi-minh City’s vernacular understanding of public space, maintaining proportions, function therefore allowing District 4 to flourish in its new modern environment. It achieves this through the critical research of functional spaces in the local environ, distilling out the factors that create a successful and desirable space in the eyes of local people and then reapplying these throughout the design to achieve a modern interpretation of these principles.

The proposal is divided into ‘villages’ and consists of a plaza at grade, which allows for; appropriation as market space, sports facilities, temporary housing etc. Commercial, office and residential are vertically stacked above, with the division of programme allowing each village to have its own public space optimised for privacy and appropriate social functions.

The ability to parachute the proposal into brown field sites allows residents to take advantage of the existing food vendors, restaurants and other local facilities, providing instant community and an economic uplift to areas, ensuring that the development merges and interacts with local existing infrastructure and economies.

Finally, the proposal shall act as a transition between the existing low level slum areas and surrounding high-rise developments, mitigating the urban disparity, whilst generating new civic space in, under and around the proposal. Reinvigorating the urban areas and responding to increasing demand for housing whilst providing provision for the District 4 societal norms to be encapsulated within a modern Vietnamese urban block.

Jisoo Hwang


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