The Terra Cotta Studio is a brick building designed by Tropical Space in Ho-Chi Minh City, giving to a Vietnamese artist a dedicated place for creating clay sculptures and pottery
Terra Cotta Studio is cube-shaped building with 7m x 7m x 7m of space. Surrounding the studio is a bamboo frame platform used for drying out terra cotta products. It is further designed with two big bench for resting, relaxing and having tea. This raised platform also serves as a fence to seperate the studio with the area of workshop.
The outermost layer of the studio is made by clay solid brick, which reminds people about Vietnam traditional furnace. The studio also carries the characteristics of Champa culture as the area was part of Tra Kieu, Champa Kingdom capital from 4th to 7th Century. The bricks were built interleaved creating holes which help the wind ventilating and air conditioning. This layer is not the wall preventing outside environtment from inside the studio, so the artist can feel the wind, the cool from river and sound of nature in surrounding area. Meanwhile, it also creates a certain privacy for the artist.
The interior of the studio is the three-floors wood frame system creating 60-centimetre-square modules integrate shelves for displaying artworks, a staircase leading upstairs, hallways and seating benches. The height of the frame is 7 meters. Follow the hallways, people can observe the workshop, river banks and the whole garden through windows.
The centre of the studio consists of two floors. At the ground floor, there is a turning table that the artist works. The artist and his works can interact with the sunlight, from the sunrise to twilight. Here, people can find the conversation of the artist and his works; and himself and his shadow in the silence. At the same time, people can see and feel the time passing on terra cotta artworks by the movement of the sunlight.
On the mezzanine, people can see many different space inside and outside the studio, as well as observe the artist working by the round void in the centre. Flooding was also a consideration when designing the building. By encouraging the artist to put both finished and unfinished works on the upper shelves, they should remain safe if the river bursts its banks and flows into the building.
Terra Cotta Studio, Ho Chi Minh City Architecture: Tropical Space Program: atelier Design team: Nguyen Hai Long, Tran Thi Ngu Ngon, Nguyen Anh Duc, Trinh Thanh Tu Client: Le Duc Ha Terra Cotta Area: 98 sqm Year: 2016