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Architecture - Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City Skyline


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Dear Architects, Designers, Travelers, and Fans,

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, once “The Pearl of the Far East” is the second-largest city in Vietnam (the largest being Hanoi). It is the most crowded city in the country with the official population of over 8 million people on the total area of over 2,095 square km. The city now comprises 19 districts and 5 suburban districts. District 1, along the Saigon River, where downtown Saigon is located, is the commercial center and contains most of the city’s monuments and landmarks. 8 km away in the district 5 resides in a big market or Cho Lon where the Chinese community lives. With favorable weather the whole year round and the convenient access from other countries by air, by road and by sea, Ho Chi Minh city is a busy and dynamic metropolitan.

Giac Lam Pagoda was built-in 1744 so it is believed to be the eldest pagoda in Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam. Located at 565 Lac Long Quan street, Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City. It was built by Ly Thuy Long under the Nguyen dynasty. In the beginning pagoda’s name was Son Can then change. In 1774, Zen Master Linh Nhac (abbot of Tu An pagoda) sent his disciple, Zen Master Vien Quang, to become Giac Lam Pagoda’s abbot and change the name of the pagoda to Giac Lam.

This oldest richly decorated Chinese temple was built by Cantonese Congregation at the end of the 18th century and dedicated to the Heavenly Lady (locally called Thien Hau), who was supposed to be the protector of the fishermen and seafarers. Among the other altars are one (locally called Long Mau) dedicated to the protection of women and newborns and yet another (locally called Kim Hue) to sterile women and mothers who have no sons. Incense coils, ceramic figurines, richly attired statues, and a model boat commemorating the arrival of the first Chinese from Canton is among the items of interest here.

Ben Thanh Market was constructed in 1912 by the Brossard et Maupin Construction Company, but it wasn’t until 1957 that it garnered its current name. There are four main entrances to the market, each facing one of the main streets in District 1: Quach Thi Trang, Phan Boi Chau, Le Thanh Ton, and Phan Chu Trinh. In 1985, Ben Thanh Market underwent a major renovation yet its iconic clock tower still remained, designed to withstand Saigon’s tropical climate with its concrete awnings. The market is over 13,000 square meters large, has around 1,500 stalls selling a variety of items ranging from food to cosmetic products.

The tower was designed by Carlos Zapata, got the inspiration for this skyscraper's unique shape from Vietnam's national flower, the Lotus. With the 68-story, 262.5-meter (861ft) skyscraper is reportedly reminiscent of the lotus flower which Vietnamese people normally refer to as the floral emblem, while if you focus on the helipad, the building resembles a CD rack. The tower offers an awe-inspiring 360-degree view of the city.

Saigon Notre-Dame Basilica (Duc Ba Church)is a cathedral established by French colonists. It started construction in 1863 and finished in 1880. The cathedral was designed with a neo-Romanesque style of architecture: the building’s red bricks, colored windows, and glass squares were originally imported from France. Some features have been replaced following the destruction caused by war. Saigon Notre-Dame has two bell towers, one on each side, and a grand Virgin Mary statue in front of the cathedral. Therefore, visitors are not only drawn towards this landmark for its architecture but also for its religious and cultural significance.

Statue of Our Lady of Peace was made in Italy in 1959, the statue was carved in white marble by sculptor Giuseppe Cicchetti. The Virgin Mary is standing up straight with one foot on the head of a serpent while holding in her hands the earth globe with a crucifix attached to it.

The coffee apartment at 42 Nguyen Hue is right in the middle of the street in between the Saigon River and the City Hall that sits on either end of Nguyen Hue. The 42 Nguyen Hue is a prominent example of a cafe-apartment, yet faces demolition and redevelopment. It was home to many high-ranking government officials before 1975 and also served as a residence of US advisors and naval officers. Today the nine-story building is filled with different stores including coffee shops, co-working offices and clothes shops.

Nguyen Hue Walking Street is the most beautiful and largest road in Ho Chi Minh City with colorful decoration and a modern water fountain system. This is considered the heart of District 1. The walking zone has two lanes for transportation circulation. It runs from the Ho Chi Minh City Hall to the Saigon River. Besides, it is the place to organize parades, meetings, street and flower festivals, exhibitions, culture and sports activities, art performances… of Ho Chi Minh City.

Designed 165 meters tall-building and 40 stories high, making it the third tallest structure in Saigon as of right now. Total construction costs of Times Square add up to about $125 million USD as it’s also situated amongst the most costly streets in Saigon. Times Square is a multi-purpose building; it’s composed of a five-star hotel, apartments, offices, restaurants, bars, a shopping complex, and a convention center. The building was designed with attention on practicality, aesthetic qualities, and sustainable use of energy. At night, the building is vibrantly lit up, illuminating all of its surroundings.

With 461.15 meters (1,513.0 ft) tall, 81-story building is built on the western banks of the Saigon River in the city's Binh Thanh District, located just north of Ho Chi Minh City's historic center and to the immediate south of Saigon Bridge. The tower is at the heart of the $1.5 billion high-end mixed-use urban areas called Vinhomes Central Park. The development comprises hotel and conference facilities, luxury apartments, high-end retail spaces, restaurants, bars, and a multi-story observation deck at the tower's crown.

Saigon River has 230 km length across Ho Chi Minh City, which flows from Vietnam - Cambodia border. It became important because it supplied water to the city and is home to the Saigon Port, which is a hub for the import and export of goods to and from the South of Vietnam.

Measure of Ho Chi Minh City Skyline 
h= 249 mm / 9.8 in
l= 280 mm / 11 in

It is the second idea of Ho Chi Minh City Skyline that I improved a few days. I think this idea will be a great Lego Set of approximately 736 Lego bricks, that many people could enjoy! Ho Chi Minh city is such an amazing, beautiful city, and it is awesome to build it in Lego bricks! Thank you to all the supporters! Thank you to all the followers!

Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions!
David (VBoiHuynh)

Design and photography: David Huynh

Counselor: Kitty Huynh

Youtube: vboi huynh

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