This is the second in a series on design touches found around Việt Nam. I like these design touches because they exhibit conscious decision-making. We are so used to standard off-the-shelf solutions in the USA, so it is surprising to encounter places where it is economically possible to make design decisions and have them fabricated.
Here is a series of gates. Almost all houses along the streets and hems of HCMC have large gates -- for pedestrian access as well as motorbikes, the standard mode of transportation in Viet Nam. There have been few cars in Việt Nam up until a few years ago, so we will probably start seeing garages along the street (unfortunately, in my opinion). (Interesting fact -- there is absolutely no car parking allowed along the streets of central Thành Phố (City) Hồ Chí Minh.) The gates also provide ventilation into the ground floor when the house or shop fronts directly on the street.
This first gate is a work of art, in my opinion. This set of doors separates two areas of a coffee shop. Its light metal strips almost make a moiré effect. A craftsman really put his design ideas and skills on the line for this set of doors.
This second set of gates is rather heavy-handed, but illustrates conscious design decisions nonetheless since this is not a standard solution. My prison architect friends will recognize some of the detailing in these gates. I like walking by this strong set of gates.
The following picture has a set of gates -- what is unusual is the wall with openings that look like windows but aren't -- this wall just separates the front yard from the street. This house has unusually wide street frontage, so there was room to erect the wall rather than all gates. Not great design, but an interesting idea for Việt Nam.
Finally, this set of gates doesn't need to allow ventilation to the yard beyond, so rather than fabricate plain doors, the craftsman made a bold pattern with strips of steel. The decision to turn the ends of the diagonal strips into the adjacent strips is an excellent design choice.