Text description provided by the architects. Located in an industrial park at about 1 hour driving from Hanoi, Japanese air conditioning maker DAIKIN made its first production facility with a canteen in Vietnam. In addition to an energy efficient air-conditioning system (active), our main goal was to make optimal use of natural resources like daylight and natural ventilation (passive), together with using local traditional materials and methods in order to provide workers a comfortable gathering space for relaxation and refreshment.
As a double-skin facade system, the porous brick screens in front of the glass facade allows an appropriate amount of natural light while maintaining the view. The small openings in the brick screen shatter the sunlight, with a play of light and shadow constantly changing throughout the day. A gabled roof is used to make space for the clerestory windows, ensuring sufficient daylight even in the rear of the canteen. During the cooler seasons and hours of each day, the low side awning windows can be opened letting in fresh air.
Based on the principle of stack ventilation, the warmer air will naturally rise up to be exhausted through the clerestory windows creating a natural air circulation flow. This will reduce the frequency in use of air conditioning throughout the year. Various colors are used to create a vibrant and lively interior. Instead of installing a regular ceiling, wooden louvers are used to keep a high ceiling level giving a more spacious and comfortable feeling to the canteen.
On the exterior facade which faces the main entrance gate, we have created an impressive Vietnamese atmosphere with decorative brick patterns. Traces of craftsman who made each brick screen by hand are visible on the brick texture. The patterns form a contrast with the heaviness of a brick wall especially at night when light and shadow form a stark contrast with the smooth painted walls.
Overall, the articulated passive design strategies with Vietnamese traditional materials and construction methods have created a refined façade and comfortable eating space. Additionally, the Hybrid system combining Active design strategies and Passive design strategies has enhanced the use of natural sources and created sustainable architecture suitable for the present Vietnamese tropical climate.