HPA’s BE Friendly Space, a community space designed for locals in the Mao Khe coal mine area in the northern province of Quang Ninh, won the first place among Asia’s entries in the Public spaces category.
The name of BE Friendly Space is taken from the initials of its two main materials, bamboo and earth. Centrally positioned within Mao Khe, the building serves as a flexible venue for a range of community events.
Architect Doan Thanh Ha said the entire structure is made of 40cm thick earth-rammed walls, laid out in a pattern that creates a series of interstitial green spaces. These open areas are connected to each other through randomly placed windows. The structure is topped with a layer of bamboo that regulates light and air, and blurs the division between architecture and landscape.
“The building contains four large multi-functional spaces, a kitchen and service area, and washroom facilities, set against the dense backdrop of Mao Khe – one of Vietnam’s most populous towns,” he said. “Our team hopes that the venue will help raise awareness concerning the need for more friendly public spaces amid the country’s mass urbanisation.”
In the Interior Architecture category, H&P Architects’ Manh Manh hair salon won second place.
The company completed the interior renovation of the salon in the bustling Van Quan area on the western outskirts of Hanoi.
“In order to reduce waste and low overall budget, we reused the existing door, glass façade and furniture to establish a welcoming and distinctive presence among the neighbourhood,” Ha said.
The aim for the Manh Manh Salon was to establish an unusual but familiar space.
“The five senses are engaged through the decorative features integrated throughout the light-filled interior; the climbing vines; the tapping and rustling of the beads; the fragrance of the flowers and the offering of tea. A sense of warmth is created by the juxtaposition of old and new materials, including the patterned brick, wooden counters and glass. The visual focus of the space is the decorative ceiling made up of about 200,000 wooden beads, hanging down at different lengths to produce an undulating curtain floating above – mimicking the pitched ceiling,” he said.
Earlier this year, BE Friendly Space won Special Mention in the New Building category at the UIA Friendly and Inclusive Space Award 2017 and Second Place in the Friendly Space in Suffocating Urban Areas’ Public category at the Baku International Architecture Award 2017. It also won the Restaurant category of the Architizer A Awards 2017 and received the Special Mention title in the Hospitality Category at the American Architecture Prize 2017.
Manh Manh Salon won Special Mention at the Hospitality category in the Architizer A Awards 2017 won at the Hospitality category at the American Architecture Prize 2017.
The Corporation H&P Architects (HPA) was established in Vietnam in 2009 by architects Ha and Tran Ngoc Phuong.
The company’s projects include offices, residences, hotels, resorts, hospitals, and urban design.
It has won 40 international prizes so far.