Con Hen (also known as the Oasis of Mussels) is a gift of nature as well as a treasure left by previous generations—it is rich with cultural and culinary history. However, the area is increasingly exploited and neglected, losing community connections, and flooding has greatly affected people’s lives.
The government of Hue City has issued a master plan since 1998 to redevelop the Hen islet area to incorporate eco-tourism and entertainment services. However, up until 2015, due to postponement from insufficient investment and resources, the 1,000 households with 4,500 people were still waiting for the plans to take off. This also meant that the residents could not repair, build or sell their houses. In 2022, it was clear that the earlier plans could not take place, so the government redirected efforts to renovate the residential areas and upgrade the infrastructure instead.
The team interpreted the cross-generational architecture theme as architecture built from the previous generations that continues to be used in the present as well as in the future. Based on the selected site’s history and potential, their project proposes to help bring together landscape and architecture to upgrade the area in a more environmentally friendly manner, which would enable adaptation to seasonal changes as well as future climate changes, while preserving both its tangible and intangible history.
Taking into account the site’s current landscape, topography, infrastructure and residential make-up, among others, the team recommends a split-level and/or floating housing typology that could better adapt to flood situations, elevated walking platforms, new drainage systems, soft embankment/landscape strategies with possible floating gardens.
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50,000 square metres
FUTURARC PRIZE 2023: MERIT
The team members are all studying at Ho Chi Minh City University of Architecture: two of them, Danh Minh An and Le Linh Do are Architecture majors while the remaining three, Duong Thai Hung, Mai Hoang Thong and Nguyen Phan Thuy Tien are majoring in Landscape Architecture. For FuturArc Prize 2023, they searched for a site that could combine the knowledge of both fields—whereupon they chose Con Hen, a place that is said to have many existing problems, but with the potential to develop in terms of both architecture and landscape. With this project, they were challenged to design a space that synthesises and creates values that could bring many cultural, social and financial benefits to the people.