Vietnam architecture studio ROOM+ Design & Build has carried out a dramatic renovation of a small house and shop in Ho Chi Minh City by replacing its walls with glass bricks.
Named Glass-Block Micro House, the small home in Vietnam has been shortlisted for residential rebirth project of the year at Dezeen Awards 2020.
ROOM+ Design & Build renovated the small property that occupies an 18-square-metre plot on a side street in Ho Chi Minh City, to create a shop with a two-storey home above.
To enliven the house and bring light into the small structure, the architecture studio removed the walls on its two street-facing facades and replaced them with glass bricks.
"The old house was partly damaged, abandoned and very dark inside," explained ROOM+ Design & Build founder Vinh Phuc Ta.
"The design brief asked for an affordable and artistic renovation to accommodate the owners' small leather shop and living space with two bedrooms," he continued.
"The core design concept of the project is using glass-block, a unique and uncommon material, to replace the old brick facades in combination with space-saving and flexible interior space."
According to the studio, the translucent glass bricks allow light into the property while giving the inhabitants privacy.
"The translucent glass-block facades with glass windows on the north-east and south-east engage natural light and ventilation without losing the privacy, and also make the building blend with the surroundings during the day,"
"At night, when lights on, the house becomes a magically sparkling lantern in the middle of the neighbourhood."
The building's ground floor contains a small leather goods shop that will double up as the home's living space.
It contains glass shelving and white cupboards for the storage and display of leather products as well as a table and chairs. A small kitchen and a toilet are hidden behind opaque glass sliding doors under the stairs.
The staircase, which is behind another opaque sliding door, leads up to the first-floor space that contains a bedroom and a toilet and shower room.
Above this, the second floor also contains the master bedroom, which is wrapped with a balcony, and a small bathroom and glass-block shower room
"Besides, the smart and flexible floor plans have greatly enhanced the well-being of the owners' living space in such a tiny house," said the architect.
"The combination of contemporary and traditional materials in a minimalist approach makes one's spatial experience seem both freshly new and closely familiar at the same time."
Glass Brick Micro House is shortlisted for Dezeen Awards alongside projects including a house in Sydney with an aquaponics system containing edible fish and a home in a former community oven in Portugal.
Photography is by ROOM+ Design & Build / SM Studio.
Design: ROOM+ Design & Build
Construction: ROOM+ Design & Build
Lead architect: Vinh Phuc Ta
Design team: Hieu Hien Trinh, Kim Quy Nguyen