Labri is a glass house in Vietnam designed by local studio Nguyen Khai Architects & Associates (NKAA) . It’s a 55-square-meter home commissioned by a couple for a site nearby a large pond in the city of Hue. 

The studio received a simple brief about the design that only warranted one floor of living space but the inclusion of a lot of outdoor areas. The result is a home where both humans, plants, and animals can co-exist. The team decided on a structure that is as much a home for the couple as it is for the local wildlife and plants, which NKAA said make up the “majority of the living members.” 

Labri was shortlisted in the Urban house category of the Dezeen Awards. In an interview, the studio said they asked themselves “what it would feel like to live under one roof with our botanic friends” and ended up with a home that fulfills their “wish to create a deeper connection between humans and nature in this modern and technological world.” 

The living spaces are divided into four staggered blocks formed by a mix of concrete and glass and connected by pathways. NKAA “randomly” placed the different-sized blocks on over half of the 100-square-meter site to pave way for a series of gardens and inner courtyards to invite local wildlife to thrive. Sprawling vines cover each block and is home to its own large rooftop frangipani tree. 

Meanwhile, fixed ladders leading to the roof intend to emulate the feeling of climbing or walking over a mountain and the four blocks mimic caves. “Taking a walk on the top of the house is like walking through the rolling mountain range. Under the mountains, there are caves that are cool and safe,” NKAA said.

The living and dining areas are found in one of the blocks inside Labri, another hosts the kitchen while the other two the bathroom and sleeping area. The blocks are deprived of solid walls or internal partitions to create an open-plan layout of sort and allow residents to “see through every space”. The vines and greenery outside provide some privacy. 

NKAA’s use of concrete and glass throughout Labri gives the home a minimalist look, which befits the “concept of Labri, in which everything is just bare, simple and original.” Meanwhile, doors and windows enable natural ventilation and the surrounding greenery shades the interiors from the sun’s heat. The home’s closeness to the pond also helps cool the air in the summer.

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Images courtesy NKAA