MODE Haysom Architects Vietnam took the top prize at an invited international competition for their urban and conceptual planning of the C30 Complex in the Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The MODE Haysom team took design inspiration from elements of the traditional Vietnamese village where each function is defined by its own structure, and these functions are arranged orthogonally. They used the function of a public library and a space called 'Knowledge Square' as the centrepiece of the project and placed the educational facilities to define its edges.
MODE Haysom General Director Ed Haysom said the competition required the incorporation of educational elements including a kindergarten, a primary school and a secondary school.
“To achieve this requirement, we reshaped the connecting road to the south forming it into a gentle curve to allow the schools and the library to be grouped together,” Mr Haysom said.
The design also had to consider other influencing factors including connecting the southern area of the road to the largest of the buildings in the Thanh Thai Noi Dai and Bac Hai Streets.
MODE Haysom had to answer a number of competition requirements before winning the competition. One of the requirements was to acknowledge in their design the presence of a 30 storey A9 resettlement tower which had significant impact on the competition site, but was located outside of the site boundaries. MODE Haysom stepped back from Thanh Thai Noi Dai to allow views across the resettlement tower, which ultimately added value to their proposed new residential units.
Another significant competition requirement was to solve pedestrian issues throughout the site. The design team proposed a series of walkways connecting all users and allowing students as well as members of the community to connect to the schools without using the road. The first of the walkways connects the schools and the Knowledge Plaza with the residential precinct and the park in front of the residential building. The walkway meets the residential building at the first level allowing access to the shops and restaurants making it possible to walk through the plaza of the residential building over Thanh Thai Noi Dai Street to the A9 resettlement building without having to cross major roads.
MODE Haysom also recalled another competition requirement, which included adding a 25 storey, 800 apartment residential building plus two new parks (containing a children's playground) and on a separate site, a hotel and commercial precinct, designed as a standalone building with the hotel functions above the commercial offices.
The brief also called for a high degree of sustainability and the team opted for a passive sustainability response - from the single loaded corridors of the residential tower to the natural ventilation of the school buildings to the extensive gardens throughout that give a natural sylvan character to the project: a healthy place to live, work, study and relax.