Ho Chi Minh City is Asia’s next global metropolis. As it rapidly adapts to intense pressures on all fronts – industry, transportation, tourism, technology, population – the fabric of the city maintains constant flux. But how will the future Ho Chi Minh City continue to embrace new global models without being wholly replaced by them? Ben Thanh Market will be an important testing ground for this question, sitting at the heart of District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City. Its site forms a nexus of commerce and transportation, with vibrant public space, active tourism, light industry, working class housing and mansions of the rich. A new subway system and Ben Thanh station will add an underground layer of complexity to this already intense network of urban spaces and uses.
The studio will explore how the dense fabric of old Saigon can accommodate these new massive developments and infrastructure while continuing to support the rich urban street life that so defines public life in Vietnam.