On a peaceful plain by the foothills of Annamese Cordillera, central Vietnam, Hue people hold the role of family in high regard, placing family connections above all else.
These values are what led one family of adult children to commission a home design in which their ageing parents could enjoy a retirement of relaxing pastimes and gardening. Designed by architectural firm Limdim House Studio, this 75 square metre home was designed to be easy to live in for the elderly couple, with a cosy yet minimalist aesthetic. Traditional, rustic elements were employed to achieve a restful appeal that is reminiscent of childhood in the countryside. An open plan interior promotes natural light and ventilation.
Although Hue is one of the biggest cities in Vietnam, the lifestyle is very peaceful. This calm spirit is conveyed in a traditional home exterior where rustic stone walls attractively encase a welcoming courtyard. Local to Hue city, an ancient style of plain clay roof tiles, called “Liệt” tiles, give the home exterior its traditional crowning. A modest fenestration of glass louvre windows interrupts a warm, sandy-coloured render.
Plant beds at either side of the gated entrance lay out a green welcome into the front courtyard. Within the gates, two outdoor chairs and a small coffee table sit out on the sun-dappled tile. Directly behind the outdoor sitting area, a large window draws connection with the interior space.
Double doors give entry into the home via a stepped concrete threshold. Small planters decorate one side of the wide front entrance, whilst a novelty head-shaped planter looks upon the other.
Inside the home, a minimalist layout was planned as the most convenient, low maintenance solution for the elderly couple. The sitting room features a custom-built sofa design with storage tucked subtly underneath its concrete base. A low lounge chair and wooden coffee table make up the rest of the small sitting area, where a glass vase provides a simple centrepiece.
The concrete sofa base also forms the foot of a modern staircase design, where black metal balustrades form a striking pattern. On the 100m2 site, just 50m2 was used in the footprint of the home. The remainder of the plot was left available for growing vegetables and flowers, and enjoying a tranquil lifestyle.
The home is used almost exclusively by the retired couple, and so the compact living space is concise and functional for two. The kitchen island is a multifunctional piece that’s used to prepare food, to cook on the hob, and to dine, which frees up floor space for other items and activities.
The house interior is light-filled with a rustic indoor-outdoor appeal. A great stone feature wall climbs the double-height living space, creating natural tonal beauty that invites the eye to wander up to lofty heights.
A few wooden bar stools line up along the front of the concrete kitchen island, whilst wood louvre cabinets build a panel of rich wood tone across the back of the open concept living room. The door to the left of the kitchen leads to a guest room, whilst the other enters a powder room.
A full wall of louvre windows in the double-height void ventilates the home. A wooden ceiling fan aids air circulation.
The modern staircase design climbs to a narrow mezzanine landing, where access to the master bedroom is made via a wall of glass sliding doors.
A glass roof gives the shower room a bright and open outdoor shower feel. A rustic ladder shelf complements another attractive stone feature wall that wraps the wet zone.
A ground floor guest bedroom looks out upon the entry courtyard. A wooden bureau is teamed with a small wall mirror to fashion a flexible space that can be used for either writing tasks or as a dressing table. On top of the traditional unit, a glass vase filled with flowers creates a homely touch.
Upstairs in the mezzanine bedroom, the stone headboard feature wall continues seamlessly into the ensuite bathroom design, which is separated by a clear glass wall. The glazed wall admits natural light into the room and increases visual space. The daylight filters through an eye-catching terracotta block bathroom wall that creates a pattern of arches.
The bedroom is minimal but serves the homeowners needs most adequately
Back out on the mezzanine landing, a traditional lounge chair is tucked into a disused nook to create a cosy reading area.
Ground floor plan, showing the compact open plan living space with kitchen and dining areas, plus two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The courtyard design behind the fence gate was designed to promote an intimate atmosphere that would evoke memories of childhood for the retired couple. Reclaimed plain clay tiles and blocks of baked bricks were assembled to draw parallels with traditional houses in the countryside, and paint a restful palette of earthy brown tones.
Mezzanine floor level with landing area and sliding glass wall access to the master bedroom and ensuite bathroom.
Section drawing, showing the rustic contrast of stone, wood, concrete, and nostalgic clay roofing tiles. The bricks that were reclaimed from old houses served the new house with a traditional colour palette. The material palette built a familiarity that helped settle the elderly homeowners in their new surroundings. This diagram also illustrates how the sun path influenced the fenestration, and how ventilation mapping created ultimate comfort within the home.