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The Nest


Binh Duong, Vietnam

Type of Building: Residential Building
New / Refurbished: New
Status: Operational Stage
Year of construction: 2012
Gross Floor Area: 80 sq.m

The name of the house is an exact description of the project. ‘The Nest’ was largely constructed from materials ( tiles, doors, stairs, wall sheets, roof and furniture) that were collected from various locations reusing materials that would have otherwise been building waste. Another extraordinary aspect of The Nest is it’s unique design. Instead of the living areas being enveloped within walls, The Nest opens it up, making no distinction between the dweller and nature. The concept of the house was to combine good design that would also provide bioclimatic comfort to the owner for a reasonable cost, which would be within the reach of the average person.

Design copyright: A21 studio
Picture copyright: Hiroki OKI


Tran Dinh Tho




Architecture Design

(+84) (8) 38411603






The Nest has taken a totally fresh approach to living: instead of putting the living space between traditional walls with openings, the architect has created living spaces in a way that people can blend with and enjoy nature’s beauty.

Firstly, the house was surrounded by a lattice screen system

This lattice screen acts as a frame for creepers to grow that creates a special shell, protecting the house from dust and noise as well as providing security.

Inside this shell, many trees were planted to create a second green layer.

Finally, the house was built within this leafy space . It is covered by greenry, protected from the sun’s radiation, dust, and noise while also providing natural ventilation and light.

This design helps the living environment getting rid of air conditioning and artificial lighting during the daytime whilst ensuring living comfort for dwellers.


the ground floor
the 2nd floor
the section

In terms of energy, this design not only provides bioclimatic comfort, but has also significantly reduced the cost of energy use as described below.

Natural ventilation

The house is designed to be fully openable. All the living spaces are fully naturally ventilated.


To enhance vertical ventilation throughout the house, the architect designed open timber slats to the level 2 corridor floor, helping the air to flow up to the bedrooms.


Instead of using all the floor area for living, the house was designed to have small void, to the spaces below allowing the air to flow in and ventilate the level 2 bathrooms.

Sunshading and thermal insulation

The house frontage faces Northeast and the back is orientated to the Southwest. Sun orbit analysis shows that during the mid-year months the house receives radiation mostly to the front (from 10am to 3pm), and in the later year months, the back of the house recieves the most solr radiation (from 10am to 5pm).

Sun orbit of The Nest in June
Sun orbit of The Nest in December

The green creeper shell layer provides shading for the house all year round.


The Nest is mainly constructed of cold metal sandwich panels, which are composed of metal sheet and thermal insulation foam. This material also includes a thermal sheet – silver galvanized as an inner layer to the metal walling system. This wall system enhances the thermal insulation capability of the house. Since the house is fully ventilated that uses the green layer as an additional screen covering the roof, this metal sandwich panel system provides a suitable level of insulation and ensures living comfort.

Natural lighting

The open design ensures that the living spaces of the house are naturally lit and do not require the use of artificial lighting during the daytime.


This assists in reducing the lighting cost and provides significant energy savings for the owner.

One of the unique features of the house is that most of the materials used to build it were collected from various building sites, reusing what would have otherwise been building waste. The expression ‘One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure’ rings true in this house, where the materials may have ended up as waste and a burden on society, those materials were reused and reconditioned to create a beautiful building.


The recycled materials include floor tiling, metal wall sheets, roof sheets, windows, doors, stairs, handrail and furniture.


This idea reduce waste and recycling of materials in ‘the Nest’ is meaningful to society. Construction waste is a serious problem. It takes makes up more than 40% of the total city’s waste in many countries. In fact, construction waste should be considered as a resource rather than a burden. However, this is a relatively new concept in Vietnam. More of this kind of mentality and design approach, as seen in ‘The Nest’ needs to be embraced because it is possible to converg society’s burden into useful and beautiful houses.
The use of light materials on level 2 has also cut down the foundation cost thus reducing a significant amount of the total construction cost as well.

The total cost for The Nest came to 350 million VND (2.5million VND/m2) including construction, finishes and landscape. It was very affordable project compared to average construction costs at that time and also managed to provide passive solutions for an ideal bioclimatic environment contributing to the client’s happiness and well being.

All living spaces are fully ventilated, screened by greenery and have additional trees planted within the living areas, thus ensuring excellent air quality.


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