The Tropical Suburb House: Elevating Suburban Living in Vietnam

May 10, 2024



Albert Aycardo

The Tropical Suburb House is a remarkable residence that draws inspiration from traditional Southeast Asian forms. MM++ Architects blend together modern styles with a vernacular touch as their design projects a dialogue between these two styles. They stray away from the foreign designs common within the suburban landscape of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Subtitle: A Vietnamese home that reveals itself with a strong mix of contemporary spaces and traditional aesthetics.

Raising The Ground 

The initial challenges of the project was its compact 200-square meter urban lot that made it difficult to design open spaces. The clients wanted a home that will be well suited for the tropical climate and culturally aligned. This is in contrast to the typical housing style surrounding the area of neo-Victorian, semi-detached properties. 

The house features a uniform rectangular form with a thatched roof with  deep overhangs. A mixture of solid ribbed-finished concrete walls and perforated brick makes up its materiality. The fence , considerably elevated and completely opaque, allows the inside to be completely open while still retaining privacy. 

Drawing inspiration from stilt houses, the ground floor maximizes the usable space and provides a more dynamic flow of movement through its raised elevation. Furthermore, its height makes it a sun shading device all throughout the lot’s boundaries. An addition of bamboo screens also protects the ground floor especially during the rainy seasons. 

A Facile Indoor-Outdoor Connection

Rather than a traditional front door and wall along an entrance, the space is completely exposed as you enter. The ground floor of the Tropical Suburb House features a continuous and open-plan layout. The kitching, dining, and lounging areas are seamlessly placed alongside the garden and pool area. The house becomes more enclosed as one ascends. A more private living room sits on the second floor while the owner’s bedroom is found on the third floor. 

The interiors showcase a vast array of palettes and materials. Careful placement and framing harmoniously brings these different elements together. Filling these spaces are custom wood furniture pieces, like the dining table and shelving, add warmth and character.

A dominant use of bare concrete is paired with cream-colored finishes. Brightly colored floor patterns accent this monotone shell as they feature a diverse set of colors on the third level. The stairs and bathrooms also display a knack for a strong use of singular colors as well that completely contrast the more natural features of the home. 

Making Vernacular Cool 

Passive ventilation is a defining concept that is ever present throughout the Tropical Suburb House. Firstly, the landscaping helps with this objective through its orientation and character. A strategically placed pool cools the incoming breeze as it enters the house. The vegetation also helps control the microclimate, making it more favorable in terms of humidity and heat gain. The openness of the ground floor inherently allows the wind to seamlessly enter and exit without obstruction. 

The perforations of the brick walls, specifically along the staircase and living room, form gaps that speeds up the incoming breeze. The unobstructed staircase allows air to easily circulate along the vertical axis of the home. Placing such devices along central areas allows ventilation to permeate throughout the rest of the home. 

The use of thatch leaves for the roof is an ode to traditional structures. It adds an additional layer of protection to keep the concrete slab from heating up.  Furthermore, they’re remarkably insulative and can help maintain the coolness of the ventilation below. 

A Hybrid Composition 

The Tropical Suburb House by MM++ Architects artfully infuses modern and traditional stylings in an orchestrated manner. Through a skillful interplay of materials, passive cooling, and a strong indoor-outdoor relationship, the home subverts expectations in comparison to its neighboring structures. It celebrates a unique take on how homes can be designed in how it addresses concerns and introduces new means of spatial relationships. 

Read more: Nothing token about passive cooling in Formwerkz’s Open House

Photo credit by MM++ Architects

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, […]

Dust-Free Open Shelves: Easy Cleaning Hacks for the Perfect Display.

Dust-Free Open Shelves: Easy Cleaning Hacks for the Perfect Display

Every homeowner knows how quickly open shelves accumulate dust and dirt. And with all your ornaments and trinkets displayed, dusting these tricky gaps can turn into a precarious game of Jenga. If only there’s a way to clean them without knocking every knick knack over or having to move and reshuffle them all the time. […]

The crowd in the midst of discussion during the Gravity Art Space Artist Talks. Photo by Elle Yap.

Gravity Art Space’s Artist Talks Demystify the Creative Process

On May 31, Quezon City gallery Gravity Art Space held artist talks for their current exhibitions. Four artists with solo exhibits showed up to talk about their works and processes at length. The gallery also presented multiple short films, including premiering one by Joaquin Goldstein about the destruction of a local gallery in Argentina.  The […]

The view of the Ipiranga Museum from the sky. Photo by Nelson Kon and Alberto Ricci.

Ipiranga Museum: Modernizing Old Buildings to Find Renewed Meaning

Discussion on how we preserve our buildings—and what to preserve—sits at the heart of architecture since the field was formalized. It goes beyond heritage buildings: what about buildings that will remain in constant public use for years? There’s likely no singular answer for now, but the Ipiranga Museum shows us how one can modernize old […]

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