Uplifting Design: Site’s Native Greenery Transplanted onto New Architecture

A lot of architectural schemes start from scratch with the assumption that everything on the building site will be razed or removed, but for this office structure, the designers saved and raised up the robust greenery already occupying the lot.

In Da Nang, Vietnam’s fourth-largest city, Ho Khue Architects saw the resilient native plants as an opportunity to inform their overall approach and reduce their eco-footprint. Pampas grass, bamboo shrubs, banana trees and other types were evaluated for optimal relocation.

Some species were uprooted and replanted indoors, to visually warm concrete spaces and provide fresh air, set in pots and hung from ceilings.

Climbing varieties were offered purchase on the structures exterior, with lattices and other textured surfaces providing opportunities for growing vines.

Other plants were relocated to the rooftop, creating an outdoor garden while also serving as a thermal barrier to cool inside floors below.

Overall, the greenery sets up a nice contrast with concrete surfaces and minimal furnishings and fixtures, and operates in tandem with various passive cooling and ventilation strategies.

Per the architects: “Working in this modern office evokes feelings reminiscent of childhood and a time when life was simpler. The air flow is fresh from the sea leading to comfortable temperature without being cold. Today’s younger generation may have had little or no time in the countryside. This office has brought the spirit and the heart of the rural areas to the workplace.” For more inside-out (or: outside-in) designs, check out this collection of ten offices that have creatively incorporated greenery.