Vietnamese S-House Costs Just $4,000

The Vietnam firm Vo Tron Nghia Architects recently revealed a prototype home as part a project aimed at providing affordable, low-maintenance housing to combat the country’s current housing crisis. The company has been attempting to address the issue for a few years now, and this latest addition to their portfolio is called S House.


Affordable Housing - S House - Vo Trong Nghia Architects - Vietnam - Exterior - Humble Homes

S House is intended to serve as a permanent residence, not a temporary shelter, and can be built for less than $4,080 (£2,500). In the past Vo Tron Nghia made use of lightweight steel frames to create dwellings, however this new house makes use of precast concrete sections to assemble the overall structure.


Affordable Housing - S House - Vo Trong Nghia Architects - Vietnam - Dining Table - Humble Homes

The architects decided to switch from steel to precast concrete because they believe the concrete will require less maintenance, and will be more durable in the long term. They believe making use of modular components and simplified construction will benefit the owners, and make the homes easier to transport: “The concept… is to combine modular components and DIY strategy. The lightweight structure allows smaller foundations and transportability by small boats, since waterways are still the dominant transportation in Mekong Delta.”


Affordable Housing - S House - Vo Trong Nghia Architects - Vietnam - Interior - Humble Homes

The first prototype of the S House has been set up near Mekong River in south-west Vietnam, a location where previous prototype homes were also installed. The actual components for the houses are constructed in Long An. According to the architects the average monthly income for people living in the region is just $98 (£60), and they also currently occupy cheap temporary shelters.

Affordable Housing - S House - Vo Trong Nghia Architects - Vietnam - Living Area - Humble Homes

Living in poorly constructed shelters has led to high maintenance costs, something which Vo Tron Nghia have aimed to address with their designs. S House features a roof made of a double-layer of corrugated cement and nipa palm leaves to protect the interior from heavy rainfall. The wall construction contains a gap at the roof level to allow for natural ventilation.

Affordable Housing - S House - Vo Trong Nghia Architects - Vietnam - Interior Closed - Humble Homes

Passive design strategies were employed to help improve the quality of living within the dwelling. The doors are made of polycarbonate panels that allow owners to open the houses to the surrounding environment, and also still draw in light when closed. The interior can be finished in a variety of low-cost materials, allowing people to easily and cheaply personalise their home.

For more small houses check out Blooming Bamboo House, an amazing and inventive small home built with natural building materials. Or, this vegetable nursery that’s made from bamboo and recycled plastic bottles. See all natural building articles.

Via Dezeen
Photos: Hiroyuki Oki

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. The house looks nice and appropriate to the climate and area. Is is affordable to people? $4,000.00 sounds like a lot given that people make less than $100.00 a month.

    1. I suppose it depends on how much the alternatives cost, something which the architects didn’t mention, but I’m assuming this is cheaper. Especially in the long run given its low maintenance.

  2. A table, a “bed”, a TV. What more is there to life? Really? Seriously?
    Go back into the bush. Who needs all these luxuries.

  3. My comment was not a sweet, positive, supportive response to your agenda so you eliminated it?
    Well, you can now cancel my interest in your “newsletter”. What ever happened to free speech.
    Have a nice “tiny” life.

    1. Hi John, any first-time commenters require moderation to ensure that the content isn’t offensive, off-topic, spam etc. You should be able to comment till your hearts content now. ;)