The Bat Trang Pottery Museum’s Architectural Ode to Tradition Is A Canyon In The City Of Vietnam

In the heart of Vietnam’s Bat Trang village, where the artistry of ceramic and pottery has thrived since the 11th century, a striking testament to this enduring legacy has emerged. The Bat Trang Pottery Museum stands not only as a repository of artisanal creations but also as a living embodiment of the village’s rich history and cultural identity.

Designer: 1+1>2 Architects

The design of the Bat Trang Pottery Museum is more than just a structure; it is a poetic translation of local tales and traditions. The architects embarked on a collaborative journey with pottery experts, local artisans, and villagers, ensuring that the museum’s essence resonates with the very soul of Bat Trang. The tiered, canyon-like architecture pays homage to the potters’ wheels, capturing the spirit of traditional kilns crafted from brick. This deliberate nod to the village’s heritage reflects a commitment to preserving and celebrating the art form that has been passed down through generations.

Walking through the Bat Trang Pottery Museum is not merely a visual experience; it is a journey through architectural drama. The seven inverted domes create a mesmerizing interplay of light and shadow, forming expansive open-air spaces on the ground level. These spaces become dynamic venues for events, exhibitions, and traditional festivals, fostering a sense of community engagement. Skylights strategically positioned atop the structure usher in daylight, infusing the interiors with ambient coolness and creating a harmonious connection with the surrounding environment, also marked as a sustainable element.

The choice of materials in the museum’s construction is a delicate dance between tradition and modernity. Fiber-reinforced concrete cladding, chosen as the primary construction element, speaks to the contemporary while remaining grounded in practicality. Its lightness allows for upward expansion and easy implementation by local builders. Intertwined with this modern material are earthen bricks, mosaic ceramic, and pottery tiles—each telling a story of the Bat Trang craft village. This thoughtful integration not only pays homage to the local craftsmanship but also ensures a seamless blend of the museum with its cultural context.

Beyond its role as a repository of ceramics and pottery, the Museum serves as a multifunctional haven for the community. The four-story tower accommodates commercial enterprises and homestays, ensuring economic support for the locals. The Bat Trang culinary space on the fourth floor celebrates the village’s gastronomic heritage, complemented by an adjacent auditorium for performing arts. At the summit, a rooftop garden crowns the museum—a collaborative workshop and playground, inviting visitors to engage in the artistic process.

In capturing the essence of Bat Trang’s local ceramic and porcelain crafts, the Bat Trang Pottery Museum stands as a beacon of cultural continuity. It is a testament to the delicate balance between architectural innovation and the preservation of tradition, offering visitors an immersive experience that transcends time and tells the story of a village deeply rooted in the art of pottery. Architectural photographer Trieu Chien’s lens captures the sculptural beauty, inviting the world to witness the harmonious marriage of past and present in this unique architectural masterpiece.