1+1>2 architects` pottery museum rises like a canyon amid the bat trang village in vietnam

Designboom_ Since the 11th century, the Bat Trang village in Vietnam has stood as a hub for ceramic and pottery craftsmanship. It is home to a distinct style of porcelain — a legacy forged through generations of local artisans who have developed unique decorative techniques and glazes. Many households today remain actively involved in this exceptional pottery craft, with many efforts made to empower and ensure its cultural continuity. Standing as a testament to this legacy is 1+1>2 Architects’ design for the Bat Trang Pottery Museum that showcases artisans’ work, retells the village’s history, and invites people to learn about the different materials and techniques involved in pottery-making. During the design process, the team organized meetings with pottery experts, local artisans, and villagers to discuss the museum plans and program, resulting in a large and interactive open space on top of commercial functions that support the community’s livelihood.

The tiered, canyon-like architecture of the Bat Trang Pottery Museum by 1+1>2 Architects nods to the shape of potters’ wheels, mirroring the essence of traditional kilns crafted from brick. Interwoven amidst its seven inverted domes are expanses that sculpt captivating open-air spaces on the ground level. These areas serve as dynamic venues for events, exhibitions, and cherished traditional festivals. Atop the structure, skylights usher in daylight, creating an ambient coolness as warm air ascends to facilitate airflow. The four-story edifice is strategically divided, with one section dedicated to commercial enterprises and homestays. Reaching the fourth floor, a Bat Trang culinary space takes over one side, complemented by an adjacent auditorium for performing arts. A rooftop garden crowns the museum and serves as a collaborative workshop and playground.

Material-wise, the team at 1+1>2 Architects selected fiber-reinforced concrete cladding as the main construction element. According to the studio, this type of concrete is light enough to be expanded upwards and easily implemented by local builders. Aside from the concrete cladding and frame, earthen bricks, mosaic ceramic, and pottery tiles are integrated into the design throughout the striking canyon-shaped structure, making good use of materials characteristic of the Bat Trang craft village in Vietnam. Architectural photographer Trieu Chien has captured the sculptural results, taking us around and inside the museum.