Before the 10th century, villages and hamlets appeared in this period according to several tales of Linh Nam.
The ancient Vietnamese used wood to build houses to protect themselves
from tigers and wolves. Two kinds of houses were depicted on the bronze
drums; one in the shape of a boat and the other in a shape similar to a
to dense lakes, swamps, rivers, and highly humid tropical climate, the
most appropriate building material is bamboo and wood to set up houses
on low stilts. At the end of the 19th century, houses on stilts remained
in mountainous areas, midlands, and plains throughout the country.
order to be suitable with the rugged terrain, Co Loa Citadel was made
out of clay during Thuc Phan Dynasty in the 3rd century BC. The
architecture during the Chinese sovereignty, from the 2nd century BC to
the 9th century, consisted of various structures like ramparts, royal
tombs, citadels, folk-houses, and pagodas.
The development of Bac Ha region at the beginning of the 19th century was slowed down, after the capital was moved to Hue
by the Nguyen Dynasty. At the same time, development in Thang Long
increased and citadels, cultural structures, temples, and new
residential areas were built.
The center of the significant development was in Hue where imposing citadels, palaces, and tombs were built. The Vietnamese culture in Hue was influenced by the gardened-type houses which is quite different from the tubular type of houses in Hanoi.
architecture was considered as a collection of traditional influences
which relied on flat surfaces, citadel and urban centers, interior
decoration, and scenery structures.
the 11th century while a united-feudal state was developing, the Ly
Dynasty initiated a new phase in architectural development.
the architecture of Ly Dynasty, 11th and 12th centuries, had five
orthodox styles: citadels, palaces, castles, pagodas, and houses.
Long Citadel had a complex of palaces, many of which were 3-4 floor
temples. At that time, the Thang Long culture deeply reflected the
cultural characteristic of the tower-pagoda. The architectural
characteristics of the Ly Dynasty were residential complexes, more
ornamental roofs, doors, door-steps, banisters, and rounded statues, all
in a suitable design for the climate and traditional customs of Vietnam. Streets, markets, ground and stilt houses in popular architectural design developed simultaneously as royal palaces.
the turn of the 15th century, under Le Dynasty, orthodox architecture
had two dominant styles: the imperial palace and the royal tomb. From
the 16th to 17th century, religious architecture gained a lot of
popularity in architectural development.
But Thap Pagoda in Bac Ninh Province
is famous for its structure and for the techniques used to build the
tower and carve and paint the statues. When feudalism lost popularity,
folk-art continued to be reflected in carvings and paintings describing
active scenes of rowing, hunting, sloughing, wrestling, and cutting.
The pagoda and temple construction techniques achieved progress during the 18th century.
the Tran Dynasty, the dominant architecture models were the royal
palace, pagoda, house, temple, and citadel. These styles were deeply and
significantly illustrated in the Binh Son Tower in Vinh Phu Province, the Pho Minh Pagoda in Nam Dinh Province, and the Thai Lac Pagoda in Hung Yen Province.
complexity and structure of Pho Minh Pagoda is an outstanding example
of the architectural style of the Tran Dynasty period and of the
following centuries. The structure was designed in 3 main sections: the
lobby, main hall, and sanctuary.
inside yard, or interior garden, played an important role in the
traditional architectural style and reflected the concept of oriental
space. The contemporary architecture of royal palaces was designed with
upper floors and systems of consecutive corridors in an open-air space,
which was very convenient for living in a warm climate. In spite of the
crowded development, the majority of construction materials were still
bamboo and wood.
Even though the Ho Dynasty lasted for only 7 years, it left an outstanding architectural heritage such as the Tay Do Citadel in Thanh Hoa Province. The splendid doors of the citadel still remain.
Modern and Contemporary Architecture
the end of the 19th century, architectural characteristics were
influenced by new construction style brought by European urban planning
and the interaction between French and Oriental cultures. Since the
reunification in 1975, Vietnam’s architecture has been impressively developing.
new urban and residential areas, industrial zones, and new villages
with major architectural works have brought high artistic value to
regional development. Nowadays, architectural development consists of 5
main domains: interior design, architectural design, environmental
design, urban planning, and regional planning. Also, issues on
spontaneous development of urban area, protection of architectural
relics, and house-building strategies are problems that need urgent