There are two primary issues due to globalization in Southeast Asian mega-city: they are facing the environmental and housing crisis.

 Overwhelming by generic, giant “western look-alike” housing development, the inner-city land is speculated rapidly into high-rise housing projects without taking into consideration the greenery, public space, supporting infrastructures and local culture. The masterplan considered solely in terms of its economic and technical exigencies indifferent to the idea of the site. Hence, these projects quickly turned into urban catastrophes only after a few years. 

In the context of globalization, Vietnam is putting the economy ahead of the environment. Hanoi has suffered from its unprecedented hazardous air pollution crisis in history.  And the incident has put it into the worst situation. The lack of greenery and the muscular speculation of the inner city spaces into giant monofunctional housing projects without taking into consideration the ecosystem, supporting infrastructure became a conventional norm in order to cope with the rapid urban sprawl. 

The built environment is the physical representation of its history and the way in which it has accumulated different levels of meaning to form the specific quality of the site, not just for what it appears to be, in perceptual terms, but for what it is in structural terms. the architectural project is charged with the task of revealing the essence of the geo-environmental context through the transformation of form. The environment is therefore not a system in which to dissolve architecture. On the contrary, it is the most important material from which to develop the project. Indeed, through the concept of the site and the principle of settlement, the environment becomes the essence of architectural production. Hence, the project explores to redefine a new model of mix-use housing development based on the local environment and existing urban fabric. Taking the measure of climate, landscape, and vernacular architectural language, in piecing together a contemporary cohesive sense of place.

The proposed scheme seeks to organize synergy rather than the rivalry between nature and artificial structure in order to turn a post-disaster industrial site into a symbiosis city, The project explores the notion of Biophilic with human-centered design at an urban scale. 

Symbiocity is composed of 5 mains elements: 4 strips and 1 pathway represent 5 main sustainable tactics: Restore, Repair, Reform, Regenerate, Restructure which respectively correspond to 4 main programs:  Housing + amenities, working, production+consumption, cultural production, nature restoration. They are interwoven by a green pathway functioning as an ecological infrastructure and a commercial/tourism activities support device.
This programmatic structure blends the barriers between public, private, living and working, production and consumption, creating a new urban lifestyle with living/working proximity, circular economy.

The project focuses on restoring equilibrium between the city and nature, finds the spaces for nature where it used to be. 

Repair the damaged structure, regenerate productive spaces, enhance the local culture-nature binary and let nature takes over the site. 

Regenerate: build up the mixed-use housing with 3 shared-house prototypes, amenities, and schools based on the original structural grid. The housing is conceived with the local materials and know-how. Local brick, raw concrete, salvaged architectural elements from the demolished site (door, window) are the principal construction materials without finishing in order to reduce the maximum the construction cost, gray energy, and CO2 emission.

Reform: Reorganize the whole complex, removing strategically some blocs for better ventilation and air circulation. Keeping the primary structure, replacing some roofs by polycarbonate in order to cope with new programs, new productive spaces which is a greenhouse, local market, and handicraft workshops.

Repair: keep most of the original structure and artifact, giving them a new function as a cultural hub. Keeping the whole structure as it is, as part of the memory and historical artifact. Furthermore, the project also attempts to introduce public spaces for the local community as well as developing tourism.

Restore: Recreate an Ecosystem with native plants and shrubs connecting the project site to its surrounding natural elements in order to create a continuous greenery pathway which is a plug over, an extension of the project connecting to its context. This closed path is divided by different sequences of social activities.


Nature and culture can not be separated they coexisted in an equilibrium way. Therefore, the project aims to create the functional productive program for every single space with cultural activity.  Naturalizing architectural form and creating a ripple effect in a larger urban context. The pathway’s sequences vary according to the context, and it reflects the local culture of the milieu. Planting native plants and shrubs along the pathway, different types of gardens will allow people to explore local culture through nature discovery. 

The territory is like a living creature, to be functional, natural areas must be interconnected . The pathway functions as an ecological infrastructure  not only create a territorial identity, but furthermore make the circulation easier.The greeneries cover the pathway and public spaces of the project give shadow and reduce urban heat, making pedestrians more comfortable. It restructured the landscape and blends it into the man-made structure, the whole territory becomes, therefore, more porous and resilient. By using aerodynamic simulation as a form finding methodology, we can define the right places to create the openings as well as the pathway in order to accelerate passive ventilation. Connecting exisitng roof of the factories together to form a rainwater collector and rigidify the whole structure. An ecosystem can be characterized by its abiotic constituents, including minerals, climate, soil, water, sunlight, and its biotic constituents, consisting of all its living members. Linking these elements are two major forces. Symbiocity attempts to harmonizing the biotic and abiotic elements of a same ecosystem, where human and human-made edifice are equally part of it.

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