The site is a part of the zoned area for The cultural and sports center in Thanh Hoa, Viet Nam. Thanh Hoa is located about 150 kilometers south from Hanoi. This is the land that is often referred to the legend of the ancient ancestors of Vietnamese because of the archaeological vestiges dating back to thousands of years ago appearing here. And the most  typical vestiges are the ancient  Bronze Drum and Viet Bird symbol.

Arch2o-Thanh Hoa theatre Cloud’s Tempo  Nguyen Manh Hung-panel1 (1)

Courtesy of  Nguyen Manh Hung

The legend tells that thousands of years ago, Lac Long Quan and Au Co (known as Adam and Eva of Vietnam) gave birth to 100 childrens. Among them, 50 people go into the sea with their father Lac Long Quan, 50 people on the mountain following their mother Au Co  (because Lac Long Quan is the son of the sea god so he can not live on the land).

Arch2o-Thanh Hoa theatre Cloud’s Tempo  Nguyen Manh Hung-panel1 (2)

Courtesy of  Nguyen Manh Hung

These 100 childrens then became the Kings who gave birth to Van Lang (the first name of Vietnam).

In the culture of Van Lang, the first tools which were used for musical performances in the festivals were the Bronze Drums. The Bronze Drum is considered the first musical instrument of Vietnam since then. A number of other musical activities were also expressed on the surface and the body of the drum such as dancing, panpipe blowing, etc.

Arch2o-Thanh Hoa theatre Cloud’s Tempo  Nguyen Manh Hung (12)

Courtesy of  Nguyen Manh Hung

The Bronze Drums is most frequently found in Thanh Hoa. Therefore mentioning Thanh Hoa is mentioning  about Bronze Drums and Vietnamese ancient culture.

The Viet Bird is a mystical creature from Vietnamese myth that appeared on Vietnam’s ancient bronze drum, it’s been said that this bird represents the Vietnamese spirit, as well as a symbol of a guardian angel who carry ancient Vietnamese on its back and watch over them. The Viet bird has a very unique shape with a long beak, Crested head and huge tail wing.

After researching on the relationships of the current situation, the design begun with the concept of the clouds.

Arch2o-Thanh Hoa theatre Cloud’s Tempo  Nguyen Manh Hung (15)

Courtesy of  Nguyen Manh Hung

First, from the position of the design, because around the theater stand no skyscraper, and in front, behind, left, right and above of the site is almost covered by clouds, so the Theatre’s form is designed to simulate the clouds, with an ambiguous state of outside-in space in order to merge the internal and external spaces together, no separation. These clouds are reflected by the boxes called cloudboxes which are suspended on the steel columns system. If music must have the tempo then the cloudboxes demonstrate their tempo through their layout, their disparity of ratio, and their solid, hollow spaces.

Arch2o-Thanh Hoa theatre Cloud’s Tempo  Nguyen Manh Hung-panel1 (4)

Courtesy of  Nguyen Manh Hung

 But where is the place for Viet Bird or Bronze Drum, the best symbols for Thanh Hoa culture? How to reflect such elements to these “clouds”?

 As we can easily see, the image of Viet Bird or any birds flying in the sky is always in parallel with the image of the clouds. Therefore this design used Viet Bird patterns to attach to the facades of the cloudboxes, which is similar to the way that the ancient ancestors of  Vietnamese have attached Viet Bird on the surface of Bronze Drum.

Arch2o-Thanh Hoa theatre Cloud’s Tempo  Nguyen Manh Hung-panel1 (6)

Courtesy of  Nguyen Manh Hung

Finally, auditorium, which creates music for today’s audiences, acts as a giant Bronze Drum of the ancient people. It is hidden inside the largest cloudbox and makes the inside space becomes more mysterious to the audiences who are preparing to discover it.

With the goal of making the theater to become the highlight of the entire cultural and sports center, the scheme is proposed to develop this design vertically. The highest peak of the theater can be seen far from the edge of the zoned area, even from the downtown area, thereby increasing the scope of vision and enhance the cultural characteristics of the whole cultural and sports center.

Arch2o-Thanh Hoa theatre Cloud’s Tempo  Nguyen Manh Hung (3)

Courtesy of  Nguyen Manh Hung

The program of the building consists of three main parts: The biggest cloudbox contain the auditorium, the medium cloudbox is the office area, and 5 smallest cloudboxes are training areas.

From the initial 5 cloudboxes  (training and practicing area) and the vertical components (steel columns), the variations diagram can test their space to meet 5 different attributes, such as the structural strength, natural light condition, air circulation, space’s tempo, and the total size of the buffer spaces (the empty space between 5 cloudboxes). The last option which has the highest overall score is the selected option.

Project name : Thanh Hoa theatre: Cloud’s Tempo

Author: Nguyen Manh Hung

School: Hanoi Architectural University

Adviser: Doc.Ing.arch Nguyen Duc Dung, PhD.

Year: 2013

Arch2o has received this project from our readers in order to participate in the Students week 4 event, you may submit your own work for publication in the Students Week 5 by sending it to igraduate(at)arch2o.com

Courtesy of  Nguyen Manh Hung

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