2020_Rapa_Surajaras_Breathe - Redefining a zone of informal settlement_Category A

Ho-Chi-Minh-City, Vietnam had transformed immensely in the past years due to rapid urbanization. This growth created a major impact on the quality of life in the city, as it increases the vulnerability to flooding and gradually eradicates the traditional lifestyle of living-with-water. “Breathe” proposes to revive the traditional culture by transforming a zone of informal-settlements along the canal, turning the threat into opportunities - recreating a contemporary living with water lifestyle.

The proposed location is located in Doi-Te canal, an area flanked by dense informal settlements. The project is carried out with four design strategies which range from small interventions to the district scale interventions.

Collect - a small design-intervention that utilizes the tidal range to collect floating waste in the river. These devices are installed under the balcony of the houses, therefore enhancing the community involvement in cleaning the river.

Purify - transforms the unused aquaculture plot into a purification park, this park use t purify the water from the tributary before it enters the canal.

Connect - operates as both a means of transportation for the local residents as well as a touristic route for visitors; therefore, promoting the interaction opportunities between the users.

Adapt - examines the possibility of integrating sponge areas to increase the infiltration surface during the monsoon season and store water during the drought. On a neighborhood-scale, the existing informal-houses is proposed to integrate with flood barrier to protect the inner-urban area.

These strategies are designed to promote community involvement. They are required to act as the caretakers of the canal and in a sense the water managers of the city. ‘Breathe’ aims to revive the existing landscape and waterside culture by transforming the community into one big living system; not only creating a better environment but also offers a better quality of life for people in the city.

Download the competition entry

Download the executive summary

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Hunter Industries

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