HCMC Cultural Center

PROJECT: HCMC Cultural Center
CATEGORY: Architecture
TYPE: Cultural Center
LOCATION: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The HCMC Cultural Center is conceived as a building based on architectural preservation. The design is reactionary, in an attempt to best preserve the 4 existing villas on site. Formally, the podium is an extrusion of the original city block plan, floating above the 4 villas preserved on site. The new building recovers memory of the city, such that layers of culture and memory of the old site are displayed to the public.


Preservation is understood as a radical act of intervention here. The roofs of old villas are replaced with new glass roofs, allowing views of the villa interiors to be reflected/displayed on the underside of the new building. The design intervention clarifies the structure, organization, and spatial qualities of the 4 villas. Rather than completely erase or rebuild the villas, the design attempts to preserve their state of dilapidation. The implication is that preservation should be applied as a forward thinking concept in HCMC, creating new meaning and relevance without complete erasure of the old city.

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