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08/01/2018 - 10:21

Outstanding architectural work and the traffic problem

In an interview with Thua Thien Hue Weekly reporter, architect Huynh Quang, Former Director of Construction and Urban Planning Institute, Director of General Designing and Consultancy Joint Stock Company, said that it is necessary to have a harmonious layout in order to establish a complex of outstanding architectural work. A too high building in opposition of a too low one will create an architectural fault and break the whole complex.

Architect Huynh Quang. Photo: Phan Thanh

 

In your opinion, what is the current complex of outstanding architectural work in Hue like?

Speaking architecture, we should consider it in an overall relation to other factors, including nature, people, river, trees and plants, and scenery. The architecture of Hue, in particular, cannot be detached from the Huong river and the scenery on its two banks. Therefore, the assessment of whether or not a construction work is beautiful and outstanding should be considered in the relations as mentioned.

I have a particular interest in outstanding works in the southern area of the city and find them fairly harmonious, especially the 33-floor Vincom building, which has almost finished its rough construction.

This project can be said to meet the necessary criteria to make a highlight of Hue city, from architecture and design to the setback and technical parameters, which are all in line with the general planning and detailed planning of the southern area as well as Hue.

Would you please make it more specific?

When I was working as the Director of Construction and Urban Planning Institute, I consulted and advised the provincial authorities and investors on the architecture of the highlight in meetings. At such roads as Ly Thuong Kiet and Dong Da, we have planned and recommended that prominent buildings be needed at the best locations to create peculiarities of Hue city. Therefore, when the investor of the VNPT building planned to build only 6 floors, I suggested building more floors to match up with the opposite building at the corner of Hanoi - Nguyen Tri Phuong streets, which is now turned into an international specialized hospital.

Along with these two projects, there are other buildings, including a 16-storey Imperial Hotel on Hung Vuong Street, a 33-storey Vincom building at the intersection of Hung Vuong, Dong Da and Ha Noi, and the Indochine Hotel at Ba Trieu - Hung Vuong crossroads. These have created a harmonious complex of outstanding architectural work of Hue city, whose height ranges from low to medium and high, and vice versa.

It is true that Vincom building is, in public opinion, quite “isolated” in the middle of Hue, while the symmetrical works have not been well invested?

The layout plan of Vincom building

I don’t think so. Across the junction, there is the building of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) and the upcoming building of VietinBank on Le Quy Don street, with more than 10 floors. When the construction is completed, the building will be the symmetrical works, creating a harmonious balance for Vincom building.

In fact, there have long been high-rise buildings such as the international specialized hospital in the city of Hue. However, the discontinuation of this construction for quite a long time makes Hue architecturally unbalanced. Thus, the selection of investor and the location for a building should be thoughtfully considered.

What do you think beautiful architecture is like?

I think that architecture depends on its school. It can be beautiful in one person’s eyes but not good-looking in others’. Those who do design work often follow a certain school, either classic or modern, but definitely not in-between. That is, a work must be consistently considered in terms of style rather than a combination of the West and the East.

Whatever school of architecture it is, it is necessary to ensure the harmony, respect the indexes and parameters of the setback, plants and trees. Also, the completed works must be a complex harmonious, with its utility, landscape, plants and trees, and with surrounding works.

Are there many works that ensure harmony factors as you said?

The project considered to be quite good in all respects is Vincom building. I have been involved in consultation and review the overall site, the design of the building. Now that the actual construction of the building is on its way to completion, its harmony has been proven. What makes me most satisfied about the project is its fair setback, its good technical parameters and its modern architecture. It is considered to be Hue's most important project, and I believe that it will have no competitor in the next decade.

Unfortunately, that the office building of BIDV Thua Thien Hue branch across the road has its stairs built encroaching the sidewalk and lacks the required setback has affected the traffic. This is the most offensive considering a highlight building.

So what should a highlight work be like?

The important function of the highlight construction is not only to create a distinctive typical of the city but also to solve the traffic problem. That is, it must have an appropriate setback; otherwise, the authorities will have to spend funds and human sources to deal with traffic congestion, as most highlight constructions are high-rise with many users.

Besides, the green element is quite important. When there is a suitable setback, the building will interact with the trees. City authorities or investors can have trees grown as they can act as wind and sun protection, refresh the air and create green space for Hue.

Another factor worth noting is that an outstanding construction work must be based on long-term strategic vision. This is to say, it must be in 50-70 years in post-investment use, and thereby must be carefully calculated in view of the benefits that it brings to the city, the budget, and local people. This is exactly what the investor of the Vincom building pondered when I talked about the intention of constructing a high-rise building, rather than just a building of medium height as they intended when they first came to Hue.

Except for the building of Vincom, in your opinion, are there other places in Hue that can have high-rise buildings constructed to be appropriate and create more highlights?

Houses and state-own offices should be cleared in some areas such as along Ton Duc Thang street to give space for more high-rise buildings, if possible. I propose this location because the series of construction works will be transferred from the works on streets Le Loi, Hanoi, and Ly Thuong Kiet to Vincom Building, Vietinbank Building, the Indochine Hotel on the opposite side, and the upcoming Nguyen Kim supermarket. All will be a unified complex of highlight works for Hue.

Thank you for the exchange!

By TAM HUE

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