US architects introduce PhD thesis on Saigon architecture

An exhibition, which is a part of the thesis project, kicked off on April 10 and will close on May 2 at Galerie Quynh at 151/3 Dong Khoi Street, District 1 to showcase photos, installation artworks, and presentations about the architecture of Saigon by Archie Pizzini and Tran Hoanh

U.S. architects Archie Pizzini (L) and Tran Hoanh are seen arranging their artwork at Galerie Quynh at 151/3 Dong Khoi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Two U.S. architects, Tran Hoanh and Archie Pizzini, have recently introduced their PhD thesis which focuses on the architecture of Saigon since Emperor Gia Long’s reign until now.

An exhibition, which is a part of the thesis project, kicked off on April 10 and will close on May 2 at Galerie Quynh at 151/3 Dong Khoi Street, District 1 to showcase photos, installation artworks, and presentations about the architecture of Saigon by Archie Pizzini and Tran Hoanh.

Pizzini studied architecture and fine arts at Rice University in the U.S., then started working in Ho Chi Minh City in 2005.

Through different periods, he said that the architecture of Saigon is the totality of at least four cultures including Vietnam, France, the U.S., and China.

The American man regards the utilization of Saigon sidewalks for business and living purposes as creativity and vitality rather than something chaotic and hectic.

Tran Hoanh started his work in Ho Chi Minh City in 1996, ten years earlier than Pizzini. He received a master of historic preservation from Columbia University in New York and a master of architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

The problem that has attracted him most is the preservation of architecture which has cultural, historical significance in Saigon.

Hoanh’s concept is a balance between the old and the new, as a developing city always considers between maintaining old things and constructing contemporary structures.

He highlighted the role of public opinion, saying that local residents are interested in preserving the city’s heritage sites such as the Saigon Tax Trade Center or the Saigon Central Post Office.

Emperor Gia Long was born in 1762 and died in 1820.

He was the first emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty, which was the last of the Vietnamese dynasties. He ruled from 1802 to 1820.

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