Before renovation, this was an old and rundown apartment with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, one living room, and a cramped, dark kitchen.
The new owner wants a spacious, comfortable, cozy living space, and only needs one bedroom, a home office and a formal arrangement for the altar. Normally, apartments in Vietnam do not have private worship spaces, while the religious needs of families always require a sacred space to perform worship rituals.
Design idea – (according to Eastern philosophy, the principle of Yin and Yang is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites.) Space is divided into two parts, Yin and Yang. The main spaces, which are both high and spacious with direct access to sunlight, such as the bedroom, kitchen, dining room, living room, and home office, represents Yang: freedom and spaciousness.
The space from the entrance, through the altar room, is mixed together in the darkness of dark brown wood, with the only highlight being the dim yellow light in the shape of a full moon in the center, which represent Yin: quiet and discreet. Separating the two dark and light spaces are a movable, striped glass wall system that blocks the direct view into the worship room or from the entrance into the apartment. The entire area of the additional spaces in the apartment was also compressed along this horizontal line, creating a more coherent and clear spatial layout.
Creating contrasting designs intentionally emphasizes pairs of opposing categories, such as, light – darkness, heavy – light, wide – narrow, high – low, open – closed… so that people can feel the balance of yin and yang in living space.
Architects: Flat6 Architects; Area: 100 m²; Year: 2023; Photographs: Minh Quang Pham;