Tiny Landmarks: Re-ainbow Community Centre in Vietnam

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A glass floor panel at reception filters light to grooming space below and permits views to and from the waiting area.

This community hub by H&P Architects brings people together in the agricultural region of Duc Tho. It’s part of Tiny Landmarks, our look at six projects modest in size and budget but immeasurable in impact. 

In Duc Tho, Vietnam, where amenities can be scarce and nature severe, a neighbourly place to gather is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. The Re-ainbow, with it is generous open-air rooftop, is now that hub for the largely agricultural region of roughly 115,000, some 60 kilometres from the provincial capital of Ha Tinh. The sheltered area serves a myriad of functions, as a place for impromptu meetings or holding classes, and an adjoining clinic offers basic medical care.

The $US10,000 project was designed by H&P Architects, a Hanoi firm run by Doàn Thanh Hà and Tran Ngoc Phuong, no strangers to finding socially and ecologically sound ways to build in their home country. In 2014, they constructed a cost- and site–sensitive washroom made from bamboo for schoolchildren without access to proper toilets, all for under US$3,000. The project won a 2015 AZ Social Good Award.

For Re-ainbow, the firm amassed readily available and discarded construction materials, including steel pipes, sheet metal and bricks, to keep costs down and lighten the centre’s ecological footprint. To further that aim, solar energy and a greywater system cover off day-to-day operations. The storm-resistant exterior and triple-peaked roofline are made primarily of recycled steel. The most vibrant feature is the scaffolding, a simple yet dynamic framework that locals use as playful climbing equipment and pull-up bars – all under one brightly coloured roof.  

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