The Tent 1 by A21 Studio

Designed by A21 Studio, Tent is a small spa situated in the Vietnamese natural heritage area Trang.

Description by A21 Studio

Located inside an operating hot spring and mineral resort, the Tent is a small spa perched in the folds of halfway terrace up to a rock hill, facing to the river. This seems to be the good place for hiding away from the eventful area on the other side of the hill to enjoy healthy activities such as mud bathing and massage services. However, one of the biggest constraints of the site is that it gets intense heat from the West throughout the year, which makes it fallow for years.

Firstly, a steep roof with thick thatch is considered to be a good solution to prevent the sunlight as well as a good blend with surrounding landscape. By placing the slope side to the West, a huge amount of heat is trapped outside the building. Furthermore, the fact that the roof props on the ground also gives a distinctive look to the Tent since the roof is no longer used as a cover from either rain or sun as normal way but also becomes the main structure of the building. In detail, the main 100×250 mm beams help the structure spanning 11m and elevating 2.3m in the half way to allow guest enjoy a good view to the river and city center. Above this wooden structure is a combination of 3 layers, 20 mm thick wood panels, which gives an aesthetic look to ceiling and links all beams together, water proof membrane and 30 mm coconut leaves, respectively. All of these parts are connected by using indigenous building technique, mortise and tenon joints.

Together with the construction method, local materials, such as dry-stacked stones and coconut leaves quarried right on the site, as well as rocks, reinforced steels and different tiles are adopted to bring a harmonic and native feeling for the guests. Inside the tent, the space is divided into two levels. On the upper floor, a private bedroom that is covered by is divided into two levels. On the upper floor, a private bedroom that is covered by wood frames and color glasses, collected from old wooden frames with more than 40 years that no longer produced. Besides, a net, installed in the middle of the void, adds an exotic feeling to the guests, who enjoy playing in the mid-air. Down to the below space, an infinitive mineral pool with old wooden furniture is a relaxing space for the Tent that look to the river below.

In conclusion, the Tent with an extraordinary roof structure and harmoniously material combination has revitalized an abandoned land full of sun and wind. This either honors skillful construction techniques of local workers or becomes a typical example for its surrounding area.

Photography courtesy of A21 Studio

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- by Matt Watts