The Nest | a21studio

This small house in Vietnam has its ground floor living space open to the outdoors. It will eventually be covered by a screen of climbing plants. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

“The Nest” is an oasis of nature in a dense urban area. The client, an architecture journalist, wanted a “green” house that could be built on his modest budget. Architects a21studio designed a house made from metal instead of the concrete and bricks typically used in Vietnam. Using steel as the main building element gave the house a distinctive appearance while also saving money by cutting the construction time.

This small house in Vietnam has its ground floor living space open to the outdoors. It will eventually be covered by a screen of climbing plants. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

The house has two layers. On the inside there are metal-clad boxes raised up on a light framework of steel columns and beams. The whole structure is then covered in an outer shell of metal mesh that supports climbing plants, which will eventually create a living veil of vines to naturally cool the house via shading and transpiration.

This small house in Vietnam has its ground floor living space open to the outdoors. It will eventually be covered by a screen of climbing plants. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

The upper boxes, reached by stairs formed from a single piece of folded metal, contain the home’s two bedrooms and the bathroom. The living area below is completely open to the outdoors. With tile floors extending out into the gardens and the only walls being the screens of greenery, the living space has a sense of being simultaneously “inside” and “outside”. Reclaimed wood doors and cabinetry add a patina of age that complements the modern steel structure.

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Photographs by Hiroyuki Oki, courtesy of a21studio. Via Archello.

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