Monday, November 22, 2010

Ocean Heights

We have recently submitted a master plan proposal for Ocean Heights to the government for approval. The project is a beach resort development, 150 km east of Ho Chi Minh City. The site offered only a small strip of beachfront with a wider stretch of hinterland. Resorts usually are of low density (PR 0.1-0.2), yet the developer wanted to achieve a higher density (PR 0,6). As space and privacy is vital to the success of a resort, the project aims to achieve those qualities by employing a formal strategy, which allows privacy, closeness to nature and space.

With a total length of 2 km, our design aims to maximize direct pedestrian access to the beach by creating a central park, that links the back of the site with the seafront. Circulation systems are separated into car circulation along the perimeter of the site and pedestrian circulation in the center along a park like connection to the waterfront.

To overcome the density and to reduce the sealed surfaces on the site, we investigated cul de sac road systems, as they use less road surface, are more able to cluster and provide a front lot with circulation and a backlot with green.

The site then is organized in four zones:

Zone 1 - Seafront Resort

The seafront resort is connected via a pedestrian bridge to the main site. As a visual icon for the site along the beachfront, a box floats above a landscaped roof, creating vistas on several levels towards the ocean. Towards the beach, there are restaurants, bars a spa and gym with an endless pool and a pier, leading into the water. The building acts as a backdrop for larger events on the beach, such as weddings etc.

Zone 2 - Luxury Villas

The Luxury Villas are located closest to the waterfront. They enjoy open seaview with most of the rooms facing the ocean. To maximize the element of luxury, an additional roof deck allows for another outdoor experience, while a jacuzzi pool and a waterfall in front of the dining room creates another feature for the garden.

Zone 3 - Cluster Villas

The Cluster Villas are located in the central part of the master plan. As the land is rather flat, the villas are designed to maximize ocean view by orientation and by shape of the buildings: The master bedroom as well as the living rooms always face the sea: the roofscape is a dropped pitch roof and therefor allows the adjacent building to have 2 alternative views to the sea over its roof. With the tropical climate, shading is provided in form of a the upper floor being a large cantilevered volume over the more open and ventilated ground.

Zone 4 - Sky Villas

The Sky Villas are located at the western edge of the site. They frame the site and act as an iconic gate to the approach from the East. To maximize the undisturbed ocean view as well as providing optimum outdoor terraces, the towers are curved in plan as well as slanting in section. The entrance podium is a covered landscape, which acts as a hollow landfill, raising the ground for the towers as well as for the adjacent villas.

The master plan strategy tries to overcome the relatively high density for a resort of P.R. 0.6 by maximizing the viewing direction for each villas and by using the cul-de sac strategy to create a green back lot for each villa with private access to the central green spine.

Team: Ulrich Kirchhoff, Louise Low, Claudia Wigger, Arthur Bel, Keith Chung, Hugo Ma, Tim Mao, Christopher Tan
Local Architect: Trinity

© 2010, ice - ideas for contemporary environments

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Radical Mix at Venice Architecture Biennale

We are very pleased to announce the exhibition "Radical Mix in Hanoi", which represents the results of our research on high density, mixed use developments during the teaching semester at the ENAC at EPF Lausanne. It also formulates the third position in the exhibition series "Teaching Architecture. 3 Positions Made in Switzerland".

The opening and accompanying book launch "Radical Mix" will take place on Friday, 19th November at 6:30 pm in the Istituto Svizzero in Venice, Italy.

Exhibition and book have been only possible through the generous support of the ENAC/EPFL.

Exhibition and book concept was by Ludovic Balland, Ulrich Kirchhoff and Louise Low

Contributions are made by Louise Low and Gedeon Abebe, Esteban Pellon Becerril, Olivier Genetelli, Pablo Gironda, Riccardo Grattacaso, Marta Lopez de Asiain Gamazo, Romain Lorenceau, Marta Lozano, Mansour Noverraz, Adrien Renoult, Julie Riedo, Erika Tillberg, Toru Wada

Special thanks to Victoria Easton, Salvatore Lacagnina

The book will be distributed through the Istituto Svizzero in Italy. Order can be made from the publisher: