A growing trend in Vietnamese architecture can be found in the green façades and hanging gardens sprouting throughout the country. Although this architectural feature did not originate in Vietnam — nor is it a truly contemporary innovation — the idea has gained significant traction there in recent years, particularly in cities. Moreover, while green façades certainly have a distinct look, they are not spreading simply for aesthetic reasons. The practical and symbolic significance of green façades have been attracting Vietnamese architects and clients most of all. On one level, hanging gardens can be a very economical and environmentally responsible design choice. Plants are relatively inexpensive to install, and they can cut energy costs for clients by admitting natural light and ventilation into interior spaces. This in turn reduces a building’s environmental impact through less resource consumption. The following projects demonstrate that not only can sustainability and accessibility coexist in architecture — they can also reinforce each other. Architects also create growing façades because of the unique dynamic they can create between interior and exterior spaces. This spatial dichotomy is subverted, or at the very least disrupted, through both literal and symbolic interventions. Not only are interiors exposed to the elements ...
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