Vietnamese Architecture

Coming to Vietnam, one of the remarkable things to foreigners may be the Architecture of the countries. Regardless of the influence of many western elements, visitors still can sense architecture of Vietnamese flavors.

The original Vietnamese architecture should be originated from from the Kings Hung dynasty. At that time, the main material for building house was wood. In order to protect themselves from wild animal (tigers and wolves) they built their house in two reflected shape: one was boat shaped, and the other was turtle sheel-shaped.

Most of Vietnamese houses previously were stilt houses. However, this type remained only in the mountainous area (just a small number in midlands and plains) at the end of 19th century.

A typical model of the original Vietnamese architecture can be seen at Co Loa Citadel which was made of clay in around the third BC with different structures like ramparts, royal tombs, citadels, folk-houses, and pagodas.

Vietnamese Architecture in Nguyen Dynasty


At the beginning of 19th century, the Nguyen Dynasty moved the country’s capital to Hue. Together with the development Thang’s structure, many citadels, new residential areas increased at a considerable rate. Hue was temporarily the development centre of the country. Nowadays, we still can see this unique architecture through the remained citadels, palaces, tomb, and houses of gardened-types in Hue.

Hue’s architecture was regarded as a collection of traditional influences which relied on flat surfaces, citadel and urban centres, interior decoration, and scenery structures.

Ly Dynasty

Ly Dynasty started a new change in architectural development during the 11th century during the development of a feudal-country. Five orthodox styles: citadels, palaces, castles, pagodas, and houses was the general characteristics of the architecture at that time (the 11th and 12th century)

Thang Long Citadel had a palaces complex; many of those were 3-4 floor temples. At that time, its culture reflected deeply the tower-pagoda’s cultural characteristic of. Ly Dynasty’s  architectural characteristics of the were residential complexes, more ornamental roofs, doors, door-steps, banisters, and rounded statues, all in a reflectional design for the climate and costumes of Vietnamese people and country. Streets, ground and stilt houses, markets, in popular architectural design simultaneously developed as palaces of the royal.

Le Dynasty

In 15th century, the country was governed Le Dynasty, there are two dominant styles orthodox architecture: the royal tomb and the imperial palace. However, the religious preference style was popular from the 16th to 17th century.

One typical structure and illustration of techniques used at that time was But Thap Pagoda in Bac Ninh province. At the time the feudalism was unpopular, the folk-art resume reflecting in paintings and carving. It describe the scenes of sloughing, wrestling, hunting, and cutting

Noticeably, the construction techniques of pagoda and temple gained considerable progress in the eighth teen century.

Tran Dynasty Architecture

The popular architecture models in the Tran Dynasty were the royal pagoda, house, temple, palace, and citadel. The Binh Son Tower, Vinh Phuc, the Pho Minh Pagoda in Nam Dinh, and the Thai Lac Pagoda in Hung Yen significantly illustrates these styles

Another outstanding example of the architectural style of the Tran Dynasty time is the complexity and structure of Pho Minh Pagoda. The structure includes the main hall, lobby, and sanctuary.

The interior garden is an important part in the traditional architectural style as it reflects the oriental space concept.

Modern Temporary Architecture in Vietnam


Characteristics of Vietnam Architecture were reflected by new style brought by European urban planning and the interaction between French and Oriental cultures at the end of the 19th century. Vietnam’s architecture has been remarkably developing since the national reunification in 1975,

Currently, many industrial zones, new residential areas, and new villages have applied high artistic value to the whole region’s development. Nowadays, there are five main domains in architectural development: environmental design, urban planning, interior design, architectural design, and regional planning. At the same time, issues on urban area’s spontaneous development, protection of architectural relics, and house-building strategies urgently need solutions.

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