Spatial configuration of traditional houses and apartment unit plans in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: A comparative study

Keywords: Spatial Configuration, apartment unit plan, traditional house’s spatial configuration, space syntax


The study was designed to answer the question of whether the spatial configuration of the high-rise housing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is under the influence of Vietnamese traditional house’s space configuration. For this purpose, the apartment unit plans built from 1975 to 2015 and the traditional housing samples were collected for comparison by using the space syntax method. The main findings are twofold. First, in a developing economy 2000-2015, is found to have spatial characteristics of traditional houses; there is a definite space division by function, a separation of the spatial structure in the dynamic and static zone. In contrast, the spatial structure of apartment unit plans in the underdeveloped economic period did not correspond to the traditional houses or was slightly affected by spatial characteristics. Its spatial configuration is characterized by a railroad type while high-rise housing built after 2000 reveals a circular layout. Second, the apartment unit plans show that a flexible space was maintained for the modern apartment buildings: it is a large space for multi-function without any fixed partition. The results of this study will not only predict trends in developing the apartment unit plan in Vietnam but also figure out the traditional house’s characteristics that is capable of being accordingly applied to the Vietnamese modern apartments.


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