Three years ago, fashion designer Nguyen Thu Giang started to build a holiday home in Luong Son, a rural district in Hoa Binh Province in northwestern Vietnam. The house has been completed and is now being rented out.
The house is designed by architect Vuong Dao Hoang and his associates. They have drawn inspiration from several aspects of traditional homes, including the old wooden floors collected by Giang for many years.
Giang wanted to adapt the local culture of the Muong ethnic minority people. So the house takes some elements of the stilt house and gives it many modern twists, including a swimming pool in front of the house.
The exterior of the house has a fashion designer’s touch, including the carvings in the white walls and its glass windows and doors, as though it has been dressed in a white lace outfit. The design allows natural light to come in, while keeping out the cold mountain winds.
The height from the floor to the ceiling was raised to be 3.5m from the original 2m. The dense column system foundation of a stilt house was replaced by a sturdy steel frame to open up the space.
As the result, the ground floor is spacious and can be used as a living room, a meeting room and a common area.
The big windows create a continuous connection between the space inside and outside. People in the house can sit, relax, read a book or have tea while having unobstructed views of the nature outside.
The staircase that would be found outside a traditional stilt house was brought inside and placed close to the wall to save space. The staircase is also used to separate the living room and the kitchen area.
Giang, a lover of Vietnamese traditional styles, did the interiors herself in consultation with Hoang.
A vegetable garden and a lot of lychee trees surround the house. The ground immediately around the building has been covered with gravel.
There are two bedrooms and a common area on the first floor. Wooden and rattan furniture adds to the natural feel of the place.
The modern bathroom has some traditional features including a wooden bathtub and bamboo blinds.
Photos by Nguyen Tien Thanh