Award-winning firm Bogle Architects has designed an International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
The International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) is a new secondary school that provides teaching facilities for over 900 students, with an internationally renowned education programme. Located on a 1.15 hectare site, it is located adjacent to the River Saigon and stands among a varied townscape of traditional residential units and newer 25-storey apartment blocks.
The design is notable for its clarity, with all the main facilities arranged along an internal central spine or “high street”. Each zone is located specifically to optimise environmental conditions. The main teaching zone lies to the east of the spine, with classrooms arranged in groups around pocket light wells that allow daylight to enter from the north and south facades in direct response to the sun’s high trajectory throughout the year.
Pocket gardens sit at the base of these light wells on the lower levels, bringing greenery into the building and a heightened sense of nature and well-being. Maximising the potential of the site, a football pitch has been added to the roof and is surrounded by a sculptural steel fence.
Project architect, Luigi Simione says, “The building has been designed in direct relation to the sun’s path: north/south windows allow in natural light, west-facing louvred screens reduce heat gain, and roof gardens provide insulation.”
Facing the river, the western façade of the building is shaded by a 100-metre-long louvred screen with louvres arranged in sections that straddle each floor. The entire building is elevated to provide natural ventilation to the ground floor, an area where students can dine outside and make use of the open-air swimming pool.