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NORTH: China
SOUTHWEST: it has a long border with Laos and borders Cambodia in southwest
WEST: Thailand

Vietnam is located in the southeastern extremity of the Indochinese peninsula and
occupies about 331,688 square kilometers, of which about 25 percent was under cultivation
in 1987. The S-shaped country has a north-to-south distance of 1,650 kilometers and is about
50 kilometers wide at the narrowest point. With a coastline of 3,260 kilometers, excluding
islands, Vietnam claims 12 nautical miles as the limit of its territorial waters, an additional 12
nautical miles as a contiguous customs and security zone, and 200 nautical miles as an
exclusive economic zone.
Vietnam is a country of tropical lowlands, hills, and densely forested highlands, with
level land covering no more than 20 percent of the area. The country is divided into the
highlands and the Red River Delta in the north; and the Giai Truong Son (Central mountains,
or the Chaîne Annamitique, sometimes referred to simply as the Chaine), the coastal
lowlands, and the Mekong River Delta in the south.
With skills and experiences handed down over many generations, local craftsmen and
masons have obtained practical knowledge of material use. They use timber logged from
local woods for housing frames. Non-wood plants such as bamboo and rattan are used in
construction in various areas as they are cost efficient and locally available.

TIMBER- It is selected for their durability in moist conditions and termite resistance.
BAMBOO- Low-cost vernacular houses use bamboo and rattan for roofing and framing
because of their rapid growth and their ready availability.
THATCH- A thatched roof and wall are combined with a bamboo frame to provide a cool
interior atmosphere because these materials have a low-heat transmission and
high insulation properties.
CLAY- Earth and clay products in forms of compressed earth brick, fired brick, fired tile for
roofing and flooring are traditionally used in Vietnam.



CLIMATIC Vietnam has a tropical monsoon climate, with

humidity averaging 84 percent throughout the year. However, because of differences in latitude and
the marked variety of topographical relief, the climate tends to vary considerably from place to place.
During the winter or dry season, extending roughly from November to April, the monsoon
winds usually blow from the northeast along the China coast and across the Gulf of Tonkin, picking
up considerable moisture; consequently the winter season in most parts of the country is dry only by
comparison with the rainy or summer season.
During the southwesterly summer monsoon, occurring from May to October, the heated air of
the Gobi Desert rises, far to the north, inducing moist air to flow inland from the sea and deposit
heavy rainfall.

Annual rainfall is substantial in all regions and torrential in some, ranging from 120
centimeters to 300 centimeters. Nearly 90 percent of the precipitation occurs during the
The average annual temperature is generally higher in the plains than in the mountains
and plateaus. Temperatures range from a low of 5°C in December and January, the coolest
months, to more than 37°C in April, the hottest month.
Seasonal divisions are more clearly marked in the northern half than in the southern
half of the country, where, except in some of the highlands, seasonal temperatures vary only a
few degrees, usually in the 21°C-28°C range.

Main religion is Buddhism, introduced during the Chinese occupation
with classic monasteries and pagodas.
Hinduism is the first religion of the Champa kingdom brought from India.
The Cham people erected Hindu temples (Bimong) throughout Central Vietnam.
States that people must accept fixed rules in the society.
Entered Viet lands during Chinese domination but only in 1400s the Viet rulers
adopted it.
People have to act by combining two properties, “concentration” and “expansion”
Taoist masters serve as healers, mediums, and geomancers.
Introduced by missionaries in 1500s and was then banned by the monarchs.
Its appeal was enhanced when the missionaries learnt Vietnamese and presented
their doctrines to peasants.

Vietnam architecture was influenced by Western Style, China during colonial time but
they also created unique architecture. And after unnumbered wars, the refinement of
Vietnamese architecture continues to be well presented in Hanoi Old Quarter, Vietnam ethnic
stilt houses and myriad of temples and pagodas, communal houses, ancient villages across the

wooden frames, mortises and tenons (no use of nails),
purlin wood trusses, rafters, canopy pillars depending on
geographical conditions could change the floor structure,
yet there exist no floors or multiple floors as other countries.
In addition, the roof slope is often quite high as a result of
using leaves, thatches, or tiles (the slope is more than
45 degrees).

WOODEN most vernacular houses do not have a ceiling because
FRAME it can prevent air circulation in the roof space. Moreover,
STRUCTURE the owners can use this space for storing food during
floods. Earth and clay products can be mixed with rice
husks or straw to make the mixture support more loads.
The double roof and yin-yang roof are commonly used in Central Vietnam because they
can efficiently avoid heat. To provide a cool microc1imate, the double roof is comprised of a
top thatched roof and a tile layer over a bamboo woven base or timber battens. Air can move
into the gap between these layers to ventilate the roof space (Nguyen and Nguyen, 1995).
The yin-yang roof is another type of c1imatic roof, which can shade itself from eastern and
western sunshine thanks to its wavy configuration.


The structure of the vernacular house is made of a timber skeleton and components
such as girders and beams, melded together by ties, mortises and joints without modern
technical nails and bolts.
Traditionally, a main or an auxiliary timber housing block has an odd number of
tiered divisions (such as three, five, or seven) with or without two additional wings.
In a cross section, timber trusses, formed by an arrangement of girders and columns,
support a pitched tiled or thatched roof. Diverse types of timber trusses have been used in
Vietnamese vernacular housing over time according to re local conditions.


- Construct houses on high ground level or on stilts

- Maximize openable windows and air vents
- Use double windows with outside louvers and inside glazing to provide
- Ventilate roof spaces naturally
- Arrange narrow single rooms
- Use shading devices
- Guide cool breezes through the building
by using window fins, buffer spaces
and court yards.
- Apply thermal insulation to roof, using
natural insulation materials or an air gap.
- Use Light weight structures rather than
thermal mass construction to avoid heat
storage affecting the house.
- Apply trellises, green walls, and green roofs
to reduce heat gain from the exterior envelope,
especially in urban buildings with limited land for


Climate responsive means of a typical vernacular house in Northern Vietnam:
verandah, shading overhang, openings and air vents, and appropriate material use of the
Most, if not all, Vietnamese traditional houses have mediating spaces such as
verandah, porch, balcony, or loggia. These play an important role as a buffer against direct
sunshine and rain and connect the house with the surrounding nature. The air under these
spaces circulates naturally, providing thermal comfort for occupants.
Occupants spend a lot of time in these spaces during the day because they can enjoy
cool breezes and daylight, and feel a sense of community. When staying in a verandah or a
porch, the view to streetscape is more open than when sitting inside the house.

It is the place to worship the founder of village. Functions: 1. Religion
2.Administration 3. Cultural-arts
Dình Bảng communal house is one of the largest and finest village communal
houses in Vietnam. It is located in Đình Bảng village, Từ Sơn district, in Bắc Ninh
Province of the Red River Delta, 17 km from the nation's capital, Hanoi.
The construction started in 1700 and was completed 36 years later.
Đ Dình Bảng communal house is used for the worshiping of Cao Sơn Đại vương
(Mountain spirit), Thủy Bá Đại vương (Water spirit), and Bạch Lệ Đại vương (God of
agriculture), together with the six individuals who rebuilt Đình Bảng village in the 15th
century after it was devastated during the Ming occupation (1408-1428). The hall also
functions as the village meeting hall and the seat of the local government office.

Architecture in Vietnam is something of a hotchpotch of styles, but most
constructions can be included in five main categories – vernacular, Chinese, ethnic, colonial
and modern.
Vernacular Vietnamese buildings are distinctive- unlike most of the rest of Asia, they
have a massive wooden framework, rather than the lightweight ‘stilt’ method used elsewhere.
Good examples can be seen all over the country, and particularly in the villages around
Hanoi. Larger public buildings, such as ‘communal houses’, are also of wooden construction.
Stone and brick were reserved for royal or significant religious buildings. Nearly all
vernacular buildings were single-storey, with heavy flat-tiled roofs to withstand typhoons.
None had ceilings or chimneys.


Traditional Vietnamese houses
are arranged in a common context of
the village, it is both private and common,
very independent but sociable. These
steps barrier between the road, between
the house create closed for each family,
but re-opened in the type of behavior of the
whole village community.
The layout of the house of traditional Vietnamese style, but there
are two types of design most: Layout Size workers, the income is a primary and secondary
(here are usually the kitchen), the type of layout this caught many in the northern delta. The
second layout of the house is often seen: Square-shaped layout, which is located in the middle
of the two sides have two side house (a warehouse to store food, a kitchen), these models
usually have a well-off family.

Vietnamese houses are often built with

locally available materials such as: leaves,
thatch, bamboo, wood carved, statistical
background stone columns, baked or unbaked
clay, mud mixed with straw, depends entirely on
the economic conditions of each family.

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