Morphing Cultural Values into Modern Designs, Vietnamese Architect Redefines Home Renovations


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Architect Nghiem Dinh Toan redesigns and gives a 30-year-old house in Ngoc Khanh Ward, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, a new lease of life.

HANOI, Vietnam, April 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Filmed in the ninth episode of Makeover Your Home, broadcasted on Vietnamese television channel VTV3 and live-streamed on Vietnam Communications Corporation’s (VCCorp) ecosystem, architect Nghiem Dinh Toan designed a renovation for a 30-year old home while preserving the cultural integrity of the property. 

Documenting the journey that was jointly produced by WOWMedia and partnering developer Van Phu – Invest Joint Stock Company, the house was a typical dormitory in an old apartment building in Hanoi with an architecture that first appeared in the 60s.

Representing a significant period in the history of housing development and evolving into a symbol of communal culture and life in Vietnam, the original structure was built for former senior army officers in the late 80s with concrete frame systems and load-bearing walls.

Being a home with filled with memories to an extended family, the 30-year-old house underwent various improvements but still posed many inconveniences for daily activities of the family.

Architect Toan, founder of me+architect company and a nominee of Architecture Festival 2021, focused on creating a space connecting the two floors through the different positioning of the atrium and the stairs to meet the family’s needs:

  • Functionality meets comfort: the first floor as a space for dining, guest reception, kitchen, and the grandparents’ bedroom. The living room and dining room were extended to accommodate over 20 guests and the kitchen has a sliding door fitted for maximised space usage and to allow natural light in.

The renovation has met the needs of the owners for the spaces convenient
The renovation has met the needs of the owners for the spaces convenient

  • Reasonable spatial layout: staircase placed in the living room as an independent structure connecting the floors, easing movement from private and shared spaces while avoiding interference with other spaces.

The living room is enlarged to be more sufficient
The living room is enlarged to be more sufficient

  • Effective structural design: a steel frame system is used to support the load-bearing structure for the existing floor wall block, maintaining the current structure. Together with the maintenance of the former domes, the overall design enables the harmony between the old and new elements. In addition, the redesigned ceiling reveals the roof mold has brought unexpected ventilation and height to a space that used to be low and dark.

The overall design has old and new features in harmony with each other
The overall design has old and new features in harmony with each other

  • Reflective color palette: the distinction between old and new is showcased through the effect of the paint colors. In private spaces such as the bedrooms and the individuality of each user is shown through colors and interior materials.
  • Harmonious furniture: The sofas are designed to be harmonious with the staircase, while the reinforced steel columns in the dining room are covered with round plasterboard.

“By creating a dialogue between the new and old structure, allowing the parallel presence of these two elements throughout the entire space, the design meets the new needs of the owners and at the same time, respects the spiritual and material values of the house from its early days,” said Toan.

“La Nha” (Makeover Your Home) is the first home makeover TV show in Vietnam that integrates expertise and entertainment according to viewers’ tastes. The content promotes innovative aesthetics and trends in architecture while offering professional solutions from famous architects, new trends in furniture, and household appliances.

According to Architect Le Anh Tuan, Deputy Manager of R&D Department of Van Phu – Invest and La Nha Consultant, “It is important that the house-repairing process retains the distinctive characteristics of the house, since it not only forms an interesting feature of the building but also carries the origin of a home, or broadly speaking, preserves parts of history and culture.”

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About “La Nha” (Makeover Your Home) reality show

Makeover Your Home reality TV show aims to “refresh” the participants’ beloved houses, turning them into resting places that comfort the owners’ emotions and treasure their own meaningful life stories.

More than just an ordinary architectural program, Makeover Your Home integrates expertise from famed Vietnamese architects with each homeowner’s personal story to create an emotional and humane program.               

Ten participants from different walks of life bring ten different stories. However, they all have one thing in common – the desire to create a true home. The architects of Makeover Your Home not only resolve the house owners’ concerns but also listen to their stories and aspirations to realize the ideas for their dream houses and true homes.

The first season garnered over 11.6 million livestream views, and thousands of social posts discussing the show.

About Architect Nghiem Dinh Toan

Architect Nghiem Dinh Toan is the founder of me+architect, a professional architecture company for planning, landscape, architecture and interior design. The company has a series of projects under leading corporations in resort real estate and operation, and hospitality including, the GEM CENTER and White Palace Event and Exhibition Center projects in Ho Chi Minh City.

About VCCorp

VCCorp is the leading technology company in Vietnam developing technology and internet products. The main businesses include e-commerce, online content, online advertising and mobile content. VCCorp has the largest Ad network in Vietnam with over 1000 publishers. 200 of them are top publishers and 30 of them are exclusive. The system of websites has the capability to reach 90% of the media audience in Vietnam.

Prior to Makeover Your Home, VCCorp successfully held a reality show named KOC Vietnam that reached over 1.6 million views for an episode and over 5,000 projects signed during the whole season.

About WOW Media

WowMedia is a creative and destination marketing agency, especially in tourism and entertainment. The company provides specialized destination marketing solutions for clients with an “Oh! Wow” experience for the audience. WOW Media develops outstanding branding strategies for clients by planning and producing effective multi-platform marketing campaigns.

Media Contact

Tu Quynh Nguyen

Head of Marketing Campaign Hanoi, VCCorp

Hue Bui (Stella)

Communication Specialist, VCCorp