Oct 22, 2021 / 11:01

Old industrial buildings expected to be creative spaces in Hanoi

Industrial facilities in Hanoi have been at risk of causing environmental pollution which have a detrimental effect on people’s health and hinders urban development.

Architectural experts believe that old industrial buildings could provide the ideal location to create cultural spaces, giving dilapidated properties a new lease of life.

The idea was discussed during an online webinar held in Hanoi on October 21 by architects from Vietnam and Europe alongside building owners and property managers. They hope to share knowledge on the best solutions to turn run-down buildings into cultural spaces the city can be proud of.

Factory of Sao Vang Rubber Company in Hanoi's inner district of Thanh Xuan. Photo: Pham Thang

The webinar, themed "Current status of industrial facilities spaces in Hanoi and international experiences of industrial heritage", was supported by the association of European Cultural Institutes and Embassies (EUNIC).

EUNIC representative Thierry Vergon, director of L'Espace (Institut français du Vietnam in Hanoi), said: “Many extraordinary examples that can be found everywhere in Europe, and all around the world, show that the transformation of these sites into places dedicated to culture and fostering creativity".

Vergon cited examples of similar projects in Europe that have not only restored old buildings but also breathed new life into the communities where they are located. These reconversion projects always have an extremely positive impact on the neighborhoods where they are installed and are considered by the populations as a factor for improving their environment, he added.

EUNIC representative Thierry Vergon, director of L'Espace (Institut français du Vietnam in Hanoi). Screenshot: Nguyen Ngan

“I believe this webinar comes at the right time to raise awareness among the players involved in the decision process, as a massive relocation of production sites is envisaged in the coming years to Hanoi,” Vergon stressed.

According to Le Quan, rector of Hanoi Architectural University, urban renewal is not just a case of replacing old buildings with new ones.

In the context of the effectiveness of the Architecture Law and its application into lives, a new approach to recognize the heritage, architectural and cultural values of industrial facilities in the city will provide theoretical and practical bases for urban reconstruction from relocating industrial facilities, he noted.

 Le Quan, rector of Hanoi Architectural University. Screenshot: Nguyen Ngan

"Industrial facilities in Hanoi have been at risk of causing environmental pollution which have a detrimental effect on people’s health and hinders urban development. Therefore, it is an urgent need to relocate industrial facilities which are not consistent with current standards, cause an imbalance in technical infrastructure and environmental pollution," Quan told The Hanoi Times.

For his part, Deputy Director of Hanoi Urban Planning Institute (HUPI) Nguyen Duc Hung said that the land fund after the relocation of industrial production facilities should be given priority for the construction and development of public works, trees, parking lots, social and technical infrastructure works in urban areas.

“These uses don’t increase waste for the inner city, ensuring a balance between the needs of social infrastructure, technology and urban environment. Besides, the industrial sites having historical, cultural and architectural values must be preserved, restored, embellished in accordance with the provisions of the law of cultural heritage, prioritizing the use of these works for public purposes,” Hung added.