Hanoi/ Simultaneous Transformaion of Informal Housing
In the transformation of the formal housing, there was an architectural return back to the traditional houses and actually during the same period, the traditional housing were also under transformation influenced by Doi Moi in multi aspects.
“Tube house” is one of the most significant dwelling types in Vietnam. It refers to the traditional attached street-houses with narrow widths and long lengths in old urban areas. The long-time evolution of this prototype finally built it with special spatial arrangement of shop fronts and inner yards in dense urban contexts.
In the 1990s, the city expanded rapidly, which brought uncontrolled urbanization to the Ancient Quarter of the city. The old tube houses became overcrowding and the new ones become more vertical and narrow. The government promoted small-scale spontaneous renovation and modernization of the buildings by the inhabitants because of difficult implementation of large-scale planning on the fragmented estates, the lack of financial resources and the resettlement problem of the residents. The State and People policy considered construction with citizen’s own capitals as a solution to the housing problem.
The lack of planning guidelines and building regulations along with the booming economic growth led to the unregulated developments of the old informal housing in 1990s. And the uncontrolled development was motivated by the policy, by the lack of residential area with official tolerance. In the transition period, some of the tube houses in the Ancient Quarter were enlarged and even became mini-hotels or shops for tourism interests but some became denser and terribly maintained with a slum atmosphere. There was still coexistence between the forces from the authorities and the forces of the local but the development tendency was different based on the different locations and individuals.
In the cases of both formal housing and informal housing during the transition period of Hanoi, we saw contradictions of space which were actually the contradictions between the government and the residents, between the experts and the anonymous users. The duality of space was dramatically highlighted in the transformation from highly-controlled socialism to open capital economy. The planning and design of both types of housing could be observed as one integrity and be analyzed under the compact scenario based on certain spacial theory together.
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