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[Photos] 'Da Nang: COASTAL City' – Architecture and Housing

Saigoneer is proud to be the media sponsor of Da Nang: COASTAL City, a large-format photo book exploring the urban development, landscapes and people of Central Vietnam. Produced with the support of the Goethe Institute as well as funding from Audi, the publication is split into five chapters, each covering a major theme related to Central Vietnam's urban development. Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll be giving you an overview of the book's fantastic photos. This week's installment covers the book's third chapter, "Architecture and Housing". Click here for chapters one and two.

The urban landscape of Da Nang and the surrounding settlements is still dominated by low-rise buildings. As with everywhere in Vietnam, the most popular type of housing is the rowhouse, usually erected on a four-sided plot of land with two to five stories. The narrower edge is oriented towards the street and often measures only three to five meters. In contrast, the length toward the back of the plot can extend up to 15-25 meters. Generally, two to three generations of a family live in these structures. In many cases, the family operates a retail shop on the ground floor. But Da Nang offers some iconic landmark buildings as well.

The most noteworthy is the Da Nang City Administrative Center, the seat of the Da Nang People’s Committee and the tallest building in the city. Rising to almost 167 meters and containing 34 floors, it only opened in 2014 but immediately became an essential part of Da Nang’s urban identity. With its futurist style, it is maybe the most iconic landmark in Da Nang’s skyline. That is why we chose it for the cover of this publication.

The 666-meter-long, six-lane Dragon Bridge across the Han River was designed and built in the shape of a dragon. It links the city with the nearby eastern seafront. The bridge has the capability to “breathe” fire or water and does this during the weekends and to mark special occasions. It was opened to traffic on March 29, 2013, the 38th anniversary of the liberation of Da Nang. Comparable to the Da Nang City Administrative Center, the Dragon Bridge (along with other new bridges) became a significant symbol of modern Da Nang.

An important feature of Da Nang’s urban policy has been the urban-spatial expansion towards the sea. Part of this is the development of a boulevard with palm trees along the beach strip of Da Nang at Son Tra and at Khue My District and further towards Hoi An. The famous Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, USA may have served as a role model for this boulevard. The development of high-rise buildings along the boulevard is far from being completed, though.

Finally, this chapter presents some of the buildings nominated for the Ashui Awards 2015 Building of the Year. Among them are the so-called Termitary House, a fascinating red brick structure with minimalist design from the architectural office Tropical Space, the Cam Thanh Community House located in the countryside outside of Hoi An, designed by the Hanoi based 1+1>2 Architects as well as the winner, Naman Retreat Pure Spa from MIA Design Studio which artistically includes plants into the building design.


The photo book Da Nang: COASTAL City is available on Amazon as well as at Artbook bookstores in Vietnam for VND900,000. Discount copies (VND700,000) can be ordered directly from Michael Waibel at

[Photos courtesy of Da Nang: COASTAL City]

Related Articles:

Behind the Cover: 'Da Nang: COASTAL City' to Hit Bookshelves Next Month

[Photos] 'Da Nang: COASTAL City' – Views From Above

[Photos] 'Da Nang: COASTAL City' – Change Over Time

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