a cylindrical brick structure in a courtyard surrounding an old kiln

All images © Tropical Space

In the village of Dien Phuong in the Quang Nam Province of Vietnam, a thriving workshop received a striking expansion with the help of Ho Chi Minh City-based architects Tropical Space. In 2016, the design firm conceived of a cubic studio for local artist Le Duc Ha in the form of an airy, seven-square-meter brick structure situated among geometric gardens on the bank of Thu Bon River.

Last year, Tropical Studio completed the stunning Terra Cotta Workshop, a major addition to the complex that includes zones for the craftspeople to work and for the public to engage with different activities. A courtyard connects the spaces and holds an enormous cylinder around a brick kiln, which is original to the building previously occupying the site. One long exterior wall, which doubles as an extensive shelf, displays numerous terracotta pieces produced in-house.

Baked brick is a popular and cost-effective material in Vietnam because it is sustainable, locally produced, and steeped in tradition. Due to the country’s balmy climate, brick provides an appealing facade while also allowing for natural ventilation and light openings, especially when arranged in lattice patterns. Terra Cotta Workshop utilizes a series of interconnected walls to create passageways and manage airflow and shade, simultaneously dividing and connecting various spaces.

Explore more projects on the studio’s website.


an oblique aerial view of a brick building housing a terra cotta workshop

two images side-by-side of interior spaces in a contemporary brick building housing a terra cotta workshop

a view of a contemporary low-roofed building behind some palm trees and a garden

a view down open-air corridors of a terra cotta workshops showing tables and shelves full of pots and works in progress

two side-by-side images of the interior of a terra cotta workshop building made of lattice-patterned brick walls

people walk through the courtyard of a contemporary brick building

an aerial view of a terra cotta workshop and studio in Vietnam surrounded by greenery

the inside of the kiln with scaffolding and an open top

the front of a contemporary brick building with low, light-colored roofing, with an exterior wall that doubles as a shelf for numerous terra cotta pots

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