The fourth installment of Al Jazeera’s six-part Rebel Architecture series looks at Vo Trong Nghia attempts to return greenery to Vietnam’s cities and design affordable homes for poor communities.
With only 2.5% of Ho Chi Minh City considered green space, architect Nghia finds the city crowded and too stressful. He strives to bring nature back into the city, and in this episode we see how he has achieved it with the House for Trees, the Binh Thanh House, and the Wind and Water Bar; the latter is built entirely of bamboo, what the architect calls “the steel of the 21st century.”
But greening the city is only part of his work; he also spends time addressing problems in the countryside, particularly finding a prototype house for low-income families in the Mekong Delta, where increased flooding threatens their traditional dwellings. Nghia’s ambitions also extend to designing a green neighborhood near Ho Chi Minh City. While we see the skepticism he has to overcome to realize his green architecture, after 25 minutes of watching Nghia work, it’s great to discover a happy ending.