J House by CTA – Creative Architects

J House is a modern single-family house located in Bien Hoa, Vietnam, designed in 2022 by CTA – Creative Architects.

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The owner of J house is a single teacher, after a period of accumulation, she bought a small piece of townhouse land with dimensions of 4 x 24m.

The teacher shared that she likes to spend a lot of time at home and she has a habit of taking care of the plants in the garden and wants the house to be bright, airy and close to nature. However, the townhouse layout is narrow in width, in the case of J house is 4×24 m, and the normal construction method stretches, dividing the room will cause lack of light, poor ventilation, and noise resistance, as well as insufficient space. Garden space for the homeowner’s hobby.

After analyzing the typical defects of townhouses, the team put the criteria of green space, natural light, natural ventilation, and noise prevention into the top priority list in the design process. Through the process of working, the team agreed on a solution to layout functions to help limit the disadvantages when designing townhouses:
First: When designing the layout of the townhouse, it is necessary to ensure that each functional space must be associated with a green space (skylight, green space). From there, all spaces are exposed to greenery and natural light.

Second: When letting natural light into the house, it is necessary to calculate, experiment and check the reality to regulate the amount of light to be suitable for daily activities as well as provide enough for green plants to grow and develop. In J house, solar glass is used to reduce 40-45 % heat for the skylight area. The solution of spreading stones above the glass also regulates light and creates shade. As a result, the indoor space is always filled with natural light but not hot, moreover, the shade from the stone layers creates an effect similar to the sun through the leaves, helping to increase the feeling of nature for townhouse space.

Third: The design of functions to establish two natural ventilation shafts vertically and horizontally has ensured all spaces in the townhouse are naturally ventilated. The Lourve Z system located above the skylight helps to release hot air and reduce the pressure below the glass roof. Air enters the house from the two front and rear door systems, creating a flow of air that circulates throughout the space, then goes to the low-pressure area below the glass roof, takes the heat, upward, and through the louver Z to escape outside. This process keeps the indoor air fresh and cool at all times.

Fourth: For the space of the house near the road that is often affected by traffic noise, the interior walls used finishing materials which have rough surface, and the ceiling system is also designed as a hollow frame system, with thickness, both aesthetic effect and noise absorption.

Through the above four solutions, J house has turned into an interesting and comfortable living space, with trees, natural light, and airy air, unlike a typical townhouse. After living in the new house, in a living environment full of trees, sunshine, and wind as desired, the teacher wrote a handwritten letter to the design team. The letter is a thank you full of affection, sharing the joy of enjoying her own peaceful home. This achievement makes everyone happy and adds a special moment to our work.

Photography by Hiroyuki Oki

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- by Matt Watts