Next stop... ‘The Crazy (tree) House’ Dalat, Vietnam!
A monument to Hang Viet Nga’s architectural philosophy of dreams, fantasy, folklore and free-form. Crazy House is also her home, still under construction and due to be finished in seven years.
The building is a swirl of ferro concrete shaped like a huge tree with tunnels travelling through the trunks. Inside those trunks are small suites each one designed with a different theme for an animal, plant or insect.
Great sweeps of black and yellow concrete, bizarrely shaped glass openings, beautifully peach-coloured walkways, spider webbed sculptured rooftops... Between this cacophony of free form is a noisy collection of animals - doves, hens, guinea fowl and colourful singing birds - The piece de resistance is a centrally carved animal statue, denoting that room's theme. So you can choose to sleep with an ant or a kangaroo!
The doors are shaped to suit the wall openings, with the weight of the panel synchronised with the shape of a body, just as light fittings and curtain tracks take their position in the twisting spaces as if they grew there. Hang Nga’s intention of eccentrically paralleling nature is abundantly mythical and mesmerising!
“We must connect with nature... the trees, animals, and our innermost dreams” said Hang Nga. Hang Nga is the one with deep mascara, she lives in the ‘memory’ room. She loved the concept of ‘The Traveling Quilt of Dreams’ and so it hung in the main foyer to be shared with the hundreds of people that pass through the Crazy House everyday. The last thing Hang Nga said to me was...
“If we don’t dream... we are dead... so keep dreaming...”