Tad.atelier, Vietnam: Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2023

Joining the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2023 is Tad.atelier from Vietnam, the exciting emerging architecture studio behind this Ho Chi Minh City project

kitchen at urban house by Tad.atelier
(Image credit: Tad.atelier)

Dynamic Vietnamese practice Tad.atelier is the newest addition to Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2023, our annual round-up of exciting emerging architecture studios. Founded in 2016 by principal Vu Tien An, this is a young office dedicated to research and innovation in the context of its country's urban conditions – and fittingly, we spotlight its Urban Houses project for this profile. 

Tad.atelier urban house at nighttime

(Image credit: Tad.atelier)

Who: Tad.atelier

Set up in Ho Chi Minh City, Tad.atelier is a small practice focusing on small and medium-sized projects across architecture, interiors and landscape design. This follows its founder Vu Tien An’s philosophy, centred on slow architecture, nature and the environment, and the informal spaces in our cities. ‘Although the rapid growth of the city has put pressure on the construction industry, we are trying to keep an open approach for each project we are in charge of. To us, two important issues that determine the formation of each project are the context and the requirements of the clients. In Tad.atelier, researching and making decisions for each specific project is a new and unique thought process. It really motivates us to seek solutions in completely different methods,' says the studio founder. ‘We conceive of buildings as living entities rather than objects.’

Tad.atelier patio looking up

(Image credit: Tad.atelier)

Vu Tien An teaches as well as practises, which allows him the necessary time and tools to take a slow and considered route to designing his solutions, embracing research. 'A large part of our working time is to figure out the right questions,' he says. 'Maintaining academic practice activities helps us have a broader view of the role of architecture in daily life. We have always been fascinated by the way people occupy space, renovating space to serve their lives. Architecture without architects is our main inspiration.'

Tad.atelier urban house in daylight

(Image credit: Tad.atelier)

What: Urban Houses

This house, situated in a busy Ho Chi Minh neighbourhood, is part of a larger corner plot that Tad.atelier has been working on with the view to transform it into a little family of urban dwellings. The concept comprises three homes – one for the project's main client, and two more for rent. A mix of shared communal and private areas creates a balance that allows for privacy as well as socialising. 

Tad.atelier urban house interior

(Image credit: Tad.atelier)

'The concept is how to build up a community gathered in a cluster of houses while each house could play as a specific functional space,' Vu Tien An explains. ‘In that community, the residents could meet up, communicate with others in public spaces, share the same out(in)door greenery, natural ventilation… but still keep themselves private in their own bedroom areas.' Gardens, pathways and openings connect the various areas visually and physically comfortably, without compromising each resident's need for seclusion. 

Tad.atelier urban house's courtyard

(Image credit: Tad.atelier)

Why: Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2023

Conceived in 2000 as an international index of emerging architectural talent, the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual listing of promising practices from across the globe. While always championing the best and most promising young studios, over the years, the project has showcased inspiring work with an emphasis on the residential realm. Now including more than 500 alumni, the Architects’ Directory is back for its 23rd edition. Join us as we launch this year’s survey – 20 young studios from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Congo, Ecuador, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mozambique, Pakistan, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK, the USA and Vietnam, with plenty of promise, ideas and exciting architecture.


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).