Jakob Factory

Commercial, Online Exclusive Feature / 2020

Jakob Factory

The site area is placed in the center of an industrial park 50 kilometres north of Ho Chi Minh City, the economic capitol of Vietnam. A pioneering initiative, Jakob Factory is the first project in Vietnam proposes completely naturally ventilated manufacturing halls. It offers an intelligent distribution of work spaces combined with a plantation façade and completely modular interior walls to provide a comfortable working space.

This is in contrast to the industrial parks constructed on city outskirts from the north to the south of the country, which has doubled in the last 10 years. Ever since Vietnam’s economic reform in 1986, Vietnam has seen a grappling rise in national GDP, with industries and populations moving from a primarily agricultural industry to a focused industrial practice.

With lightning speed, little regulations and priorities that focused on economic gain rather than environmental impact, many of these zones have witnessed highly polluting and detrimental construction practices, transforming the previously porous land to large zones of impermeable slab development.

As such, the Jakob Factory proposal was seen as an opportunity for the architects to propose an alternative to these detrimental practices, presenting a strategically land-saving project with a focus on passive design elements. Proposing an environmentally friendly alternative to the typically horizontally spread manufacturing buildings, this factory offers an innovative vertical densification strategy, stacking the usable zones on superimposed slats. This robust design avoids unnecessary ground usage and negates needless land development while offering workers outdoor spaces.

Taking reference from the traditional tropical architecture of the region, the design has developed a porous façade devised as a lush plantation ‘skin’. The suspended structure is supported by a two-layer rope network stretched from the ground to the roof. The horizontal geotextile planters not only provide protection from the rain and filter sunlight, but also contribute to lowering the atmospheric temperature through evaporation, acting as air purifiers and dust particle binders.

The factory houses the Jakob Rope Systems, a high-quality custom-made steel meshing. The Jakob Factory project offered the design partnership of rollimarchini architekten from Bern and Swiss-born G8A Architects to propose this highly innovative manufacturing space, which is set to become a design reference for tropical sustainable architecture.

Project: Jakob Factory
Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Partner: rollimarchini architects
Client: Jakob Saigon LTD
Site Area: 30,000 square metres
Cost: USD 8 million
Completion date: 2017 – 2020
Images/Photos: Severin Jakob; Oki Hiroyuki 

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