In photos: The vibrant 'tube houses' that dominate Hanoi's streets and are considered vital by urban architects

Tall, thin and brightly coloured, Hanoi's 'tube houses' dominate the city's streets as nine million people compete for space in the bustling capital.

Agence France-Presse June 10, 2021 15:40:49 IST
In photos: The vibrant 'tube houses' that dominate Hanoi's streets and are considered vital by urban architects

This photograph taken on June 9, 2021 shows narrow residential houses, known as "nha ong" in Vietnamese or "tube houses", at sunset in an urban area of Hanoi. (All photos by Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP)

Tall, thin and brightly coloured, Hanoi's "tube houses" dominate the city's streets as nine million people compete for space in Vietnam's bustling capital.

Although Vietnam saw a number of villas and garden houses built during the French colonial period, Hanoi has few of these grand residential homes.

In photos The vibrant tube houses that dominate Hanois streets and are considered vital by urban architects

Instead, tree-lined streets are packed with dwellings that are barely four metres wide, but are three times that in depth.

Typically, a tube house might be home to a family of four but two or three generations of relatives sometimes have to jostle for space.

In photos The vibrant tube houses that dominate Hanois streets and are considered vital by urban architects

The first tube houses — known as "nha ong" in Vietnamese — are thought to have appeared in the capital at the end of the 19th century, when villagers looking to sell silver, traditional herbs and tools began to move to the area.

A narrow architectural style evolved from the limited available space, said Tran Quoc Bao, a senior lecturer at the National University of Civil Engineering.

In photos The vibrant tube houses that dominate Hanois streets and are considered vital by urban architects

The design is still a favourite in modern day Hanoi, where architects now refer to them as "adjoining houses".

"This model of house is essential for an urban architect (today). The adjoining house is a combination of both the traditional and modern residence," the Hanoi-based lecturer told AFP, adding that they can also be found in many other Vietnamese cities.

In photos The vibrant tube houses that dominate Hanois streets and are considered vital by urban architects

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