Bridge to Tomorrow

The Chao Phraya, Thailand’s major river, meanders through the center of the country, linking the ruins of the former capital, Ayutthaya, to the current one, Bangkok, about 50 miles to the south. The legendary waterway, which has nurtured Thai civilization for centuries, is what inspires—and flows around—Sala Bang Pa-In, a new island re- sort by Department of Architecture, the firm’s second project for the Sala Hospitality Group, a regional chain of nine luxury hotels, spas, and boutique properties.

Is This Hotel Misleading Guests About Its Colonial Heritage?

In Vietnam, an abandoned university-turned-beachfront hotel seems to be a shining example of the country’s colonial past⁠—except that its history is entirely made up. Gracing the southern tip of Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island is Bai Khem, one of the tropical haven’s most alluring beaches. Here, a thicket of palm trees bows to a cerulean sea as it tenderly laps a crescent of dimpled sand. Hills canvased in the jungle rise behind cordial palms, leading to the island’s craggy interior. At the bay’s so

Architect An Viet Dung Is Blurring The Lines Between Countryside and City

I’m sitting cross-legged cradling a cup of warm tea. The scent of the fresh brew flavors the air while trickling water and bulging pot plants nourish the space. The man facing me is youthful and handsome, his thick eyebrows raised in excitement. He’s guiding me through a small book. It feels like a spa manager is presenting a tempting selection of treatments in some far-flung rural retreat. In reality, an architect is explaining building plans in a high-rise office. The crafted tranquility of t

Creative Voices: Vo Trong Nghia

2020 saw Vo Trong Nghia’s green architecture propagate throughout Vietnam. He boosted his “House for Trees” collection – residential projects that are home to both plants and people – including the award-winning Bat Trang House in Hanoi. He embarked on Dong Na Villas, a residential masterplan replete with roads and restaurants outside of Hoi An. But perhaps most arresting are Vo’s three ambitious new bamboo structures: The Huong An Vien Visiting Center in Hue, the Vedana Restaurant in Ninh Binh and an events hall in Phu Quoc.

Meet The Architects Using Creative Design To Tackle The Climate Crisis

Furious typhoons hammer the land, triggering torrential downpours and earth-shaking winds. In coastal settlements, some communities sit submerged while others wash away entirely. In the highlands, devastating landslides sever roads and bury farms. This isn’t an eschatological prophecy, but the reality central Vietnam faced in 2020, an abnormally calamitous year. The press reported that natural disasters – probably exacerbated by the climate crisis – caused $1.6 billion worth of damage, five tim

These Architects Are Designing Homes for Vietnam’s Tradition of Multigenerational Living

It was a brutally hot and breezeless summer season in Hue, one of Vietnam's stickiest cities. Lien, who teaches Japanese, had just finished a class and was seeing off her students at the front door. There wasn’t a single drop of rain for over a week that time, so she lingered in the front garden to water her parched hedges and trees. After quenching their thirst, she slipped inside her naturally cool house, flipped on the rice cooker and heated up yesterday’s caramelized pork. She then headed up

Vietnam’s New Biophilic Architecture Is Going Wild

Picture architecture in Vietnam and you might imagine ancient temples buried down countryside lanes or faded colonial buildings lining the city streets. But spurred by unprecedented economic growth, this Southeast Asian country of almost 100 million is revamping its traditional image – and architecture is part of the overhaul. After decades spent trying to keep Vietnam’s unrelenting jungles out of the cities, visionary architects now harness th
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