Along a street of brick row houses in Vietnam, the Cocoon House by LandMak Architecture stands out conspicuously for both its aesthetics and its functionality.
Wrapped in a white skin of perforated blocks, the Cocoon House is the result of a renovation of one of the previous generic row houses within a once expensive urban area that was hit by an economic crisis in Vietnam. The architects make use of passive solar design principles as well as expert space planning to create a bright and spacious 3 bedroom townhouse (which could be increased to 5 bedrooms) that is superbly ventilated, offers privacy, security and a fair amount of garden space, a far cry from its former self.
The previous block was clustered and somewhat complicated, so the designers basically cleared out the ground floor (labeled as first floor on the drawings), situating utilities and vertical circulation along the west wall, to create and fairly large open plan living area with lots of daylight and great cross ventilation, while the spaces at the front and the rear of the home were preserved as parking garage and garden respectively. They also added an extra floor as well as a mezzanine to offer some more room. The aforementioned garden is visible from both the entirety of the living area as well as the newly added kitchen block whose roof serves a the terrace of master bedroom on the first floor (labeled as 2nd floor on the drawings).
The former block also featured small old balconies on the first and second floors of the house, which have now been enveloped by the prominent white perforated blocks, offering both privacy from traffic outside as well as a green space with plants. This space which can be found adjacent to the first floor family room and second floor bedroom, helps to bring in nature, air and daylight, seeing as the boundary can easily be folded away to create a seamless indoor-outdoor experience.
The Cocoon House is quite the sight when you compare it to the neighbouring generic brick row houses. Aside from its pristine white, its stands almost an entire floor taller than all the other row houses along that street. Add to that the unique aesthetic of the perforated blocks on the facade and you have a home that truly, stands out.