Beside the Thu Bon river in Vietnam’s Quang Nam Province Tropical Space designed a three-storey pottery studio for local ceramic artist, Len Duc Ha.
The cube-shaped building is comprised of a lattice of perforated bricks structured around a heavy bamboo frame. The upper level of this frame is divided into 60-centimeter square modules, creating smaller spaces that then act as steps, shelving and a storage space for Ha’s completed ceramic works. Designed to allow for the humid temperatures of the area, the brick facade offers shade and filtered light without entirely removing the space from the outdoors. Of this design choice, the studio explains, “This layer is not preventing the outside environment from coming into the studio, so the artist can feel the wind, the cool from the river, and the sound of nature in the surrounding area. It also creates a certain privacy for the artist.”
Ha’s turntable stands at the center of the space: a direct light cast on it through the cut-out mezzanine floor and perspex roofing. From the concrete mezzanine, visitors can observe Ha at work from above. “The artist and his works can interact with the sunlight, from sunrise to twilight,” explain the architects. “At the same time, people can feel and see the time passing…by the movement of the sunlight. On the mezzanine, people can see many different spaces inside and outside the studio, as well as observing the artist working through the round void at the center.”
All images © Hiroyuki Oki