Shelter Stay: A New Twist on Tropical Brutalist Architecture

April 5, 2024



Albert Aycardo

The Shelter Stay presents its own concept of individual living as it breaks away from the typical notions of residential design. TAA Design fleshes out a fresh character in a design that stands out amidst the streetscapes of Da Nang, Vietnam. The result is a brutalist building that does away with uniformity and embraces a more spirited form and massing. It creates an assortment of depth that maximizes its small 100 square meter footprint.

A Brutalist Assembly 

The facade of the building displays a rhythmic assortment of washed stone modules. These blocks protrude in a manner that breaks up the flat surface and introduces a slew of pushes and pulls that make it more dynamic.  These extrusions and recessions produce a tapestry filled with greenery and fenestrations. As such, the building’s angularity synergies with the presence of tropical plants, creating a visual symphony that perfectly balances the natural and the constructed. 

Balconies and window openings form in between the modules. Rather than the uniform alignment of these spaces, each of these nodes have their own distinct place within the building. The asymmetrical layout adds depth to the design, inviting closer inspection. Its nooks and crannies spark curiosity, beckoning viewers to explore its secrets.

Shelter Stay's brutalist facade overflowing with tropical greenery.

Giving Shelter 

Inside, a breathtaking skylight bathes  the massive atrium in natural light. A tremendous green wall rises alongside the central staircase. The stairs allow light to seep through with floating risers and glass barriers. Rebelling against the usual, the designers maintain their design motifs with a play of depth along the stairs’ and green wall’s upward axes. 

Every aspect of Shelter Stay evokes a profound sensory response. Handcrafted paint and natural wood accents form a warm and inviting ambiance. A dynamic relationship with light accentuates the textured surfaces and open stair treads. The attention to detail and high-quality craftsmanship evident throughout the building elevate the overall sense of sophistication and refinement.

Inside Shelter Stay's brutalist structure is a central stairwell with a greenwall alongside it.

Resident apartments evoke a serene and minimal feel. You see the profound relationship between the exterior’s forms and the inside. Wood, alongside an earth-toned palette, adds warmth and connects the interior to the established naturalism.  The unconventional arrangement of windows, each with their own distinct shape and operability, frame different views of the outside. 

A particular attention to detail is given to the domestic functions of the apartments.  Built-in wardrobes and platform beds save on space. The bathrooms reflect the stone-washed facade with its finishes. Rather than placing a mirror above  the sink, the designers opted for an opening filled with greenery instead. 

The strategic placement of blocks both inside and outside the dwelling fully utilizes the structure’s form factor. These elements translate into plant boxes, furniture, or storage solutions. It is an example of the project’s commitment to adaptability and efficiency. Lastly, the materials are specially chosen for their durable, resilient, and environmentally friendly properties. 

Championing a New Direction

The Shelter Stay makes a strong impression on the possibilities of residential design. Its rich inclusion of brutalist and biophilic tropes in a dynamic fashion leads to an immersive environment all throughout. It establishes a strong form factor through its facade, and utilizes it as a strong point in the design. The building demonstrates how nature and contemporary design can be added amidst the density of cities.

Read more: Brutalism: Honest Architecture

Photo credit : TAA Design

Designing Tomorrow: The Crucial Role of The UAP, PIID, and PALA in Building Communities Through Collaboration

In urban development and public spaces, architects, interior designers, and landscape architects play pivotal roles in crafting environments that foster safety, inclusivity, and community engagement. These professionals are tasked not only with the aesthetics and functionality of spaces but also with ensuring that these spaces become vibrant, interactive, and sustainable parts of the community fabric. […]

A Peek into Ricco Ocampo’s Curated Sanctuary.

A Peek into Ricco Ocampo’s Curated Sanctuary

Stepping into Ricco Ocampo’s home is akin to embarking on a journey through a curated landscape of art, history, and personal narrative. Nestled in an exclusive village in Makati, this house, which Ocampo moved into in February 2024, represents a profound shift in his lifestyle—a quest for solitude and a meaningful existence. Ocampo, an entrepreneur […]


The Art of Meaningful Living

The June issue of MyHome Magazine aims to guide you in creating a home that reflects your personal style and values. Themed “The Art of Meaningful Living,” this edition is packed with inspiring stories, expert advice, and stunning visuals to help you transform your living space into a haven of beauty and significance.  Inside this […]

Father’s Day Gift Guide Every Type of Dad Will Love

Father’s Day reminds us of the incredible fathers (and father figures) who helped shape who we are. They were the steady hand we held onto and the silent champions celebrating our wins. This year, go beyond the ordinary, stereotypical presents and show your appreciation with these exceptional gift ideas. (Super) Natural’s Family Reunion Wine If […]

Protected: Smart Home Philippines Triumphs at International Property Awards, Earns Smart Home Asia Pacific Nomination

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

5 Easy Indoor Decluttering Projects During Rainy Season.

5 Easy Indoor Decluttering Projects During Rainy Season

It’s the rainy season again. The raindrops tapping against the roof and windowpane signal a retreat under the covers with a hot beverage. But before gloomy gray skies and cold weather send you curling up into bed, now might be the perfect time to declutter.  While you’re stuck inside waiting for the rain to stop, […]

Download this month's BLUPRINT magazine digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]