Friday, March 27, 2015

Watermark Residence - the design-process from initial concept to construction work.

Watermark Residence
Initial sketch showing street corner view
Overview 

The Watermark site is located on Lac Long Quan Street, in the heart of Hanoi. It sits
adjacent to the historic West Lake which is the largest lake of the capital and home to Viet Nam’s oldest pagoda. The West Lake area is a popular place for recreation with many surrounding gardens, hotels and villas. 


When complete the project will stand 22 storeys high and house 130 high-end apartments, one shared swimming pool, four private rooftop pools, a gymnasium, a cafe, a community room and will offer 1,423m2 of leasable area. 



Making a connection with the West Lake was naturally important, and the design uses curved forms combined with the use of new materials and technology never before used in Viet Nam to create a design which reinforces that relationship. 

Design concept - Initial sketch Idea
 
Watermark Residence
Design Idea is inspired by Sailboat image
The design is innovative in its approach bringing a new landmark in Residential
High Rise Architecture to the Hanoi skyline. The site demanded a signature tower reflecting the spriritual presence of the West Lake and the aspiration to develope an iconic Luxury Residential Tower. The design is strong with a serene, calm presence providing intrigue through the facade detail reflecting the rippling motion of the Hanoi West Lake.







Use of space - Plans
Podium
The ground floor of the development offers a large double height entrance lobby which leads
to the lift lobbies. Banking, retail and restaurant facilities are immediately adjacent and all
entrances are accessible from a covered drop off area. Two levels of basement parking are
accessed via secure entrances.
The Mezzanine Level accommodates an upper level for the restaurant and financial areas.
The Technical Level accommodates a sun deck area, BBQ space and swimming pool that
directly overlooks the West Lake. There is also a kids pool, café, gymnasium and building
management office, plus additional space for banking. The swimming pool has an infinity
edge with frameless glass balustrade that will offer uninterrupted views of the Lake.


Watermark Residence
Coloring Plan Level 1

Apartment Levels 


There are 19 levels of apartments above the podium level. The apartment mix includes 31 No. 1 bed units, 46No. x 2 bed units, 45 No. x 3 bed units, 4No. x 4 bed units and 4No. x rooftop duplex penthouses with private pools. East-facing apartments enjoy views right across the West Lake and have curved facades. All apartments have floor to ceiling glazing and, with the exception of the 1 bedroom units, have balconies accessible directly from the living rooms.

Apartments are set around a central lift core with four lifts set back-to-back against a central escape stair. 2m wide corridors lead from the lift lobbies to a maximum of 4 units only. Apartment entrance doors open onto lobby spaces which extend through into dining / living space and out onto balconies. Upon entering an apartment, views and connections are immediately apparent to the outside.
The curved facade offers an intriguing departure to the usual orthogonal apartment block and is in a large part attestation to the success of the scheme as units which have a curved external wall have been exceptionally popular in the marketplace.

Watermark Residence
Typical floor - lower level
Watermark Residence
Typical Floor - uper level

Appeararance and Finish - Exterior Views
Planning isues  

The main planning parameters placed limitations for maximum permissible GFA, site coverage and building height,and also stipulated set back lines.

Having regard for these parameters, the north-east corner has two set back lines: Line 1 for the podium and Line 2 for the tower above. The boundary corner formed at this location was chamfered and the chosen design response was to create a curved corner, instead of a chamfered corner, so it would address the West Lake not only in orientation but by use of
fluid-like geometry. The placement of the swimming pool at this location became logical and helped to further create a link between the West Lake and the building itself.

Relationship with suroundings and neighbourhood

The geometry of the site combined with the planning data naturally suggested a rectangular footprint and generated longer facades on the east and west facing sides. The proximity of the West Lake to the east and north, and the location of the main street to the east, gave particular incentive to locate the main public entrances and public functions of the podium on the eastern and northern sides. Large double height structural glass facades at ground levels allowing good views into and out of the retail and restaurant spaces.

Materials used on the facade wrap around corners and extend into the drop off area and the main entrance. In this way it was possible to make the main entrance clear and understandable from the outside without the need for wayfinding signage. Low level houses currently exist along the western and southern boundaries which require access from off the Watermark site itself. It was necessary to provide an access route along these boundaries.

Watermark Residence
Exterior view 01

Watermark Residence
Exterior view 02
Watermark Residence
Night View - East Facade

Architectural points of interest- Technical Issues

A terracotta rainscreen cladding system was detailed on the facade which will not only act as a thermal barrier to absorb heat gains from the tropical sun but will also have a striking contribution to the appearance of the building. This is combined with an integral terracotta sunscreen system which is used to conceal air condenser units whilst allowing good air circulation. Unsightly floor drains are also hidden behind the screens.

Terracotta rainscreen cladding systems are new technology to Viet Nam and this project will be the first of its kind in the country.

The terracotta panels have 50mm square raised bands which tie in with the 50mm x 50mm square stick system so producing a cohesive and attractive façade system.


Watermark Residence
Detail of terracotta rainscreen cladding system
Interior design
Watermark interiors are contemporary, restful and luxurious. Each impeccably designed apartment features open plan living spaces, luxurious yet private and cozy bedrooms and generous balconies that are perfect for a morning coffee whilst enjoying the sunrise.

Watermark Residence
Living room- standard-apartment unit.

Watermark Residence
Dining and Living room - Penthouse apartment.

SIte Photos 

Construction works are in the final stages of the project and it will be finished in a few months later.
Watermark Residence
Site photo 01

Watermark Residence
Site photo 02