BE Friendly Space

H&P Architects

BE Friendly Space – a composition of bamboo and earth – had its inception in an earlier project by Vietnamese studio H&P Architects: the BES Pavilion in Ha Tinh (a work in bamboo, earth and stone), which was completed in 2013. The two projects represent the firm’s attempts to create friendly spaces in suffocatingly dense urban areas. BE Friendly Space, located in the centre of the town of Mao Khe in Vietnam’s Quang Ninh province, offers an open space to the community with an emphasis on culture and art. It accommodates exhibitions, cuisine-related activities and other forms of cultural exchange.

BE Friendly Space was constructed with locally available materials using simple building techniques and with the participation of local builders. The 40cm-thick rammed earth walls are arranged in a zigzag pattern that spares valuable green spaces for common use. These open spaces are also connected to each other through randomly placed windows. Above is a double layer of bamboo roofing material (topped by waterproof sheeting) that regulates light and air, and blurs the boundary between the interior and exterior, architecture and landscape.

The objective of BE Friendly Space is to raise social awareness of the need for community spaces in the context of urbanisation and concretisation, which are gradually suffocating Mao Khe. This is one of the most populous towns in Vietnam, so the creation and preservation of sustainable community spaces for now and the future takes particular importance. It is hoped that BE Friendly Space will play a role in improving the difficult relationship between people and nature in modern times.

Photography: Doan Thanh Ha