The Red River Island is an essential resource for the capital city of Hanoi. It supplies the capital with fresh foodstuff since there are nearly 200 agricultural households staying on the island. However, the fertility of the land today is strongly affected by the retention of the river’s alluvium due to hydroelectric dams.
Additionally, like many burgeoning cities in Asia, Hanoi, located in the Red River Delta, has undergone rapid economic and social changes, which have led to major changes in the delta’s agricultural and artisanal society, as the rural areas are becoming urbanised and industrialised at the cost of agriculture. Craftsmen and fishermen who have lost their livelihoods would migrate temporarily to the outskirts of the city to seek out low-wage work to earn income to subsist and/or send their children to school. When they retire, they return to their native villages.
The migrant population has settled on a ‘dead arm’ of the Red River with an area of 41,000 square metres. As there is no land to build on, and the soil is too sandy and malleable, the village was forced to move. As the migration numbers increased, the village has grown each year and has even extended over the river. Today, the floating village consists of 37 households but with no common buildings. The children of the village attend school in the town centre.
In response to this problem, the team proposes a floating non-institutional community and training centre occupying an area of 4,500 square metres (with plantations), located on the banks of the Red River.
The community centre project aims to strengthen the intergenerational links among the inhabitants by the sharing of daily activities, as well as to integrate the village into the city dynamics, through the transmission of handicraft knowledge and the development of professional activities that could be additional sources of income. The project can also be part of a government-approved programme to upgrade the banks of the Red River. The design is based on an analysis carried out by the team, and their strategy is to build on the existing situation and improve it. The construction will also demonstrate the sharing of constructive knowledge from local techniques and resources, making the project sustainable as it is based on local human and material resources.
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Red River Delta
4,500 square metres
FUTURARC PRIZE 2023: MERIT
The team is composed of two Vietnamese students Hoàng Quang Phát and Vũ Thanh Thu who are enrolled at the Hanoi Architectural University (HAU, Vietnam); and two French students, Cassagne Thibault and Gania Romane enrolled at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Toulouse (ENSA, France). Following several collaborations, they decided to pool their knowledge from different backgrounds and experiences to develop a community project. They are convinced that integrating inhabitant participation in the conception and construction is the best way to create a sustainable project.