Although Ho Chi Minh City’s French colonial architecture draws tourists from all over the world, Vietnamese design firm Vo Trong Nghia’s sustainable building design has now made its own bid for attention.
By filling a 22,500 square meter campus with sprawling trees and plants in every direction, they’ve changed the design norm of buildings everywhere with an ecologically friendly agenda. After the FPT University approached the design firm, Vo Trong Nghia began to craft an image of green mountains, with the intent of promoting sustainable development in Vietnam through architecture.
FPT University appears as an undulating forested mountain growing out of the city of concrete and brick. This form creates more greenery than is destroyed, counteracting environmental stress and providing the city with a new icon for sustainability. -Vo Trong Nghia Architecture
Vo Trong Nghia promoting sustainability in Vietnam could not come at a more crucial time. According to the Park and Greenery Office of Ho Chi Minh City, the metropolis has reported a staggering 50% loss of green space in just over a decade. This includes public and private parks, flower gardens, and even the plants lining the side of commercial roads. Officially, the city’s goal quotes 4 to 5 square meters of green space per person. The reality? Only 0.7 square meters per person, in a city with a population of 7 million. With the World Health Organization’s recommended global standard being 8 square meters per person, Ho Chi Minh City and Vietnam still have a way to go.
Although the blame is attributed to building developers ignoring green space requirements, it’s a clear example of the difficulties of balancing human health with urban development. At least the FPT University is leading the way with its prominent location in the Ho Chi Minh landscape.