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‘Micro Town House’ Latest Example of Skinny Architecture in Vietnam

It rises in a narrow alley in Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam’s dense urban areas have strong “skinny house” game, and this so-called “Micro Town House” in Ho Chi Minh City, by MM++ Architects (who also designed these tropical houses), is the latest player to join in on the action.

The residence was constructed on an irregularly shaped plot of land measuring just 4 x 8 meters (13 x 26 feet) in a small, crowded urban alley known as a “Hém,” which many now consider to be a less than ideal place to live.

But the architects, in designing this project, wanted to play up the cramped area to its advantage, showing that this urban space could be revitalized and rehabilitated. So they divided the white concrete two-bedroom home, constructed for a family of four, into four levels, including the ground floor, mezzanine, two additional floors—and a roof terrace.

Because of the limited floor area, the architects were conscious of designing with both efficiency and coziness in mind. A skinny staircase perforated with random squares for ventilation and natural light connects each floor, while floor to ceiling windows, shielded for privacy by vertical timber screens, allow the sun to pour right in. Take a look around.