Steel frame defines “truly ordinary” home in Vietnam by MIA Design Studio

Exterior of a steel mono-pitched house in Vietnam by MIA Design Studio

A mono-pitched roof and exposed steel frame give an industrial character to the Binh Thuan House in Phan Thiet, Vietnam, designed by local architect MIA Design Studio.

Conceived as a stripped-back and “truly ordinary” dwelling for a family of four with a limited budget, the 86-square-metre home has a modular design that allows for easy modification or expansion in the future.

Exterior of a steel mono-pitched house in Vietnam by MIA Design Studio
MIA Design Studio has created the Binh Thuan House in Vietnam

“This house is truly ordinary residential architecture,” explained MIA Design Studio. “When we do the ordinary, we do it in a very basic way,” it continued.

“These basics are the organisation of natural light, natural ventilation, and the creation of functional spaces and internal circulation, thereby creating both behaviour and life.”

Entrance to Binh Thuan House in Vietnam by MIA Design Studio
It has a steel structure and mono-pitched roof

Built during the Covid-19 pandemic, Binh Thuan House required a design that could be constructed quickly and with locally-available materials and labour – resulting in a modular and exposed steel frame.

In order to allow the owners to “participate in shaping the aesthetic” of the home, its steel structure is also a means of fitting windows, curtains, furniture and pictures, all of which can be changed over time.

“From the outside, it looks like a common corrugated iron house in the countryside with a prefabricated steel frame structural system,” said MIA Design Studio.

“However, it also implies that the frame of the house must also be a sliding door frame, a frame for hanging furniture, a frame of curtains, a frame for hanging clothes,” it continued.

White curtains dividing interior office and living spaces in Binh Thuan House
White curtains divide its interior

Inside, the dwelling comprises a single open space, subdivided by white curtains. These curtains also line sliding doors that separate the home’s outer envelope from a thin garden around its northern edge.

The entrance leads into a large living, dining and kitchen area underneath the exposed mono-pitched roof. Here, a large white storage unit doubles as a spatial divider that brings greater privacy to the adjacent bathroom and bedrooms.

Open-plan kitchen and living space by MIA Design Studio
White storage help give privacy to the bedrooms and bathroom

At both the front and rear of the home, the corrugated metal roof extends outwards to shelter two terrace spaces, defined by hollow sections of the steel frame.

“The design experience has questioned how to build when the resources around us become limited, and which values turn superficial or invariant over time,” said the studio. “Sometimes, the basic is the best we can do!”

MIA Design Studio was founded by architect Nguyen Hoang Manh in Ho Chi Minh City in 2003.

Its previous project includes a pavilion for architectural events in Thủ Đức designed to look like a giant pile of straw, and a home in Ho Chi Minh City covered with protruding planters.

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