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Ben Than Trade Centre – Ho Chi Minh City

Part 1 Project 2014
Oscar Manterfield
University of Huddersfield Huddersfield UK
The government of Vietnam have officially declared its country “The New Dragon of Asia” because of the rapid growth this country has experienced over recent years. Only 30 years ago Vietnam was one of the five poorest countries in the world, suffering from the ravages of war and communist rule. Since then a programme of restructuring and a transition from an agriculture based economy towards manufacturing and services has resulted in the current success of growth.

Vietnam’s labour force is young but there are shortfalls in skilled manual trades. It is therefore essential to embrace education and training to contribute to the continuing success story. Economic modernisation and strong growth have seen the domestic vocational education training sector unable to meet the demands for a skilled labour force, in both quality and quantity. This training gap requires immediate intervention with the House of Craft, a building designed to meet the needs of the local people who are seeking vocation training and craft works.

In district 1 of Ho Chi Minh City there is Ben Thanh Market. Though the city’s landscape is rapidly changing, especially to make room for skyscrapers, some places have remained the same; and this is nowhere more so than with the market. The building is one of the city’s most important landmarks, has been here since 1912 and is its oldest and largest market.

However at the rear of the Ben Thanh, that was extended in 1985, is the fresh fish and meat market. This site has potential for development, without altering the structure of the famous market landmark. The purpose built House of Craft is located on the footprint of the fish market, providing the required rooms and creative space needed for vocational training.

Public access ensures that, since the market place is a major tourist destination and established trading market, the production of craft work will have an immediate retail outlet in the market. Not only does the House of Craft develop the vocational training and craft skills for the local workforce but it also a source of revenue for the craftsmen.

Oscar Manterfield

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2014
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