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Khu tap the on the back side of Thanh Xuân department store

With the help of foreign experts, Kim Liên, Nguyễn Công Trứ… were some of the first khu tap the – apartment blocks in Hanoi which were designed by Vietnamese architects. Later on, many other blocks such as Trung Tự, Giảng Võ, Bách Khoa, Mai Hương and Thanh Xuân were built. These apartment blocks were constructed with modularization and typification methods by arrangement and placement of prefabricated reinforced concrete panels, which derived from research applied in planning solutions and architectural design of socialist countries at that time.

Photo: Trieu Chien

These apartment blocks had played an essential role in providing accommodation for the urban residents of the Northern Vietnam in general and Hanoi in particular since 1954, helping to quickly meet the demand on residence of the majority of officials, workers, public employees in the capital.

Photo: Trieu Chien

In 1980s, the average distribution standards in Hanoi area was 4.5m2/person, with the average scale of demographic of 5 persons. With such a limited area, people’s integration of functions in one space was striking, for example: Sleeping – working – studying; cooking – washing – tidying up – parking – storage of miscellaneous items. etc. However, the design of architects for organization of main functional areas – subordinate sections are stereotyped and followed the design of apartments in countries with higher living standards. There were many reasons for the increase in the area of subordinate sections in Hanoi households: The presence of some family functions that Europeans did not care about such as storing transportation vehicles, dried and fresh food, fuels, area for additional jobs as well as storing items. Again, the concept of forwards – backwards had ingrained in living habits, by which the good, beauty, grandeur should be placed forwards when the bad, the dirty, the mess should be placed backwards, so the balcony, kitchen were usually used for feeding chicken, rabbits, pigs, or stuffed items.

Photo: Trieu Chien

This is one of 36 architecture projects in Ghé 01 architecture book, published by Handhome in September 2018.

Order book to view more photos and other projects at Handhome’s shop:

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