A serene bachelor pad in Ho Chi Minh City which makes the most of being single.
Living alone doesn’t mean living without style, as this four-storey urban retreat – wittily named the Alone House – demonstrates. Envisioned by Vietnam-based firm Story Architecture, the 517 square-foot bachelor pad, which sits in the middle of the bustling Ho Chi Minh City, is designed as a calming hideaway for a single city slicker to retreat and rewind.
“As life in the fast lane oftentimes involves a high cost of living, stressful work and dealing with traffic on a day-to-day basis, home becomes a serene sanctuary where its resident can retreat from the hustle and bustle of urban life,” says Kava Nguyen, founder of Story Architecture.
“Comfort” and “enjoyable” constituted the brief given by the client, who bought the house as a stable, long-term accommodation. A calm, relaxed and happy abode entails maximising the sense of space. But due to structural difficulties, trying to improve the inside of the home was not easy. The design team either had to adopt floor vents or glass arrays in all areas of the house to free up the vision.
“The ‘floor vent’ design not only introduces a continuity between spaces, but steers clear of a cluttered condition,” Nguyen explains. The living room, with a large-scale glass array, creates comfort within a dense space. The entire house is accented with furniture items made of rattan and bamboo, reminiscent of a tropical beach resort.
In the bedroom, the ceiling vent connects to the open sky: the occupant can gaze at the starry night before drifting into a deep slumber and wake up to the golden sunbeams in the early morning.
“Spanning four floors, the interiors spread out in a vertical manner. While maintaining an inward-looking atmosphere, each room opens outward to a perfectly lit courtyard to craft a more lofty interior,” Nguyen says.
Apart from the efficient use of space, the house is also characterised by its softened, smooth edges. Mellow hues such as white and sage grey dominate the space; wall materials and abrasives are plastered based on local traditional practices.
On the outside, the industrial-chic façade is outfitted with a large, gesturally curving window. Introducing a graphic and tactile feature, the aperture illuminates the main stair which serves each level of the house. Meanwhile, the large glass array with irregular curves in the staircase, adds a dash of fun.
When one lives alone, it’s essential to have a dining area where you can live in the present moment and indulge in life’s simpler pleasures – most of the time this means gourmet and drinks aplenty. The kitchen and dining area in the house is attached to the open-air courtyard and lush greenery; it’s the place where the owner can wind down when he dines alone.
The final flourish in any serene space is, of course, some well-placed greenery. At the house is an abundance of large potted plants which, Nguyen says, play a huge role in reducing sun radiation. Despite being situated far from the adjacent houses, the shading system ensures the house is able to get plenty of light and wind, and yet maintain a high sense of privacy, undisturbed by its neighbours.
Though the Alone House has a small footprint, the design team has managed to produce a contemplative and inward-looking paradise with its clever makeover – it’s a true place of respite from a metropolis that never sleeps.
Photo: Minq Bui