Inside Vo Trong Nghia’s New Foliage-Filled Office

Known for lush buildings that respect their vernacular, the award-winning Vietnamese firm unveils a concrete-clad office almost completely covered in greenery.

Vo Trong Nghĩa’s new office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. All photography by Hiroyuki Oki

Vo Trong Nghia Architects has pulled back the curtain on its lush new office in Ho Chi Minh City, showcasing the award-winning firm’s signature style of low-energy, foliage-filled architecture. The concrete-framed building is almost completely covered in a “vertical farm” of greenery, preventing overheating and creating a shaded microclimate inside. Workplaces are situated around a central atrium, where full-height sliding glass doors provide access to balcony areas for growth and harvesting. 

Since launching in 2006, Nghia’s firm has garnered praise for its fusion of natural elements with contemporary design techniques while respecting local vernacular. The newly unveiled building embodies this alchemy, which the firm explains helps foster connections with nature as rapid urbanization pulls Vietnamese cities away from their origins as sprawling tropical forests. “People are being taken away from the moment, and away from nature,” the architect once told the New York Times. “Without nature around us, we become crazy. So we try to wrap nature around our lives.”

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