With his winning entry for the House Category in the 2012 World Architecture Festival, Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia gives us hope that the days of fooling Mother Nature may be over soon; it’s time to harness her genius instead.
In Ho Chi Minh City, where it is not unusual for the power to go out several times a day, electrically powered air conditioning or ventilation systems are rendered ineffective in the hot and humid summer. Nghia, the principal of Vo Trong Nhia Co., based the design of this three-generation single family home around the principles of passive cooling; promoting natural ventilation while releasing solar heat gain. In an effort to reduce heat gain from the direct sun, he devised a vertical garden on both the front and back of the house; a three-part low maintenance system that runs the full height of the house providing shade, daylight, and a cooling breeze. What could be simpler?
Photos via Dezeen.
Above: The plants used as his vertical garden kit create shade and prevent direct sunlight from passing into the house and increasing the internal temperature. The copious amounts of daylight that come through reduce the dependency on electric lights.
For more inspiration, see "Joost Bakker's Vertical Gardens."
Above: The stacking green house is an efficient way to introduce greenery into urban life and is effective in acting as a sound buffer from urban noise.
Above: The primary staircase goes up three flights alongside the stacking green house, creating an air well at the back of the house that promotes natural vertical air ventilation.
For more, see "A Vertical Garden for the Urban Dweller."
Above: L. A view from the ground floor bedroom into the air well at the back of the house. Above R: The stair from the ground floor bedroom up to the first floor kitchen and living room level.
Above: The air well at the back of the house. For more inspiration, see "A Vertical Garden Made With—"
Above: Another air well exists in the middle of the house to encourage more natural vertical air circulation.
Above L: A view up into the internal air well. Above R: The walls of the house are a composite material made from scrap pieces of stone.
Above: The vertical garden is composed of a layer of greenery, a layer of air, and a glazing layer. During the hot and humid summer months, the doors can be left open even when it is raining. The rain does not penetrate through but the breezes do. (N.B.: To create your own, see DIY Vertical Garden Kit.)
Above: The narrow width of the house creates a one-room-wide house. The master bathroom is separated from the master bedroom by the internal air well.
Above: The light that shines through the internal air well casts dramatic shadows on the stone walls.
Above: The house is protected from solar heat gain from above by a roof garden.
Above: The house lots in Ho Chi Minh City are long and narrow; typically around 15 feet wide by 63 feet long. The vertical stacking green house garden is comprised of 12 layers of plants in the front.
Above: The architect's diagram illustrates the airflow and benefits of the passive cooling system.
N.B. Has this vertical garden caught your imagination and you want to see more? See 222 back posts of Vertical Gardens on Gardenista.