The globalization erases geographical distances, blurs the boundaries between regions, while revealing development disparities in many places, especially remote areas. Vietnam is a country consisting of 54 ethnic groups, which has a diverse culture, and possesses a huge treasure of indigenous wisdom in general and vernacular architecture in particular. Especially among them is the village model with traditional folk houses, “the garden - pond - barn” model as an ecological unit capable of self-adjustment and balance, balancing the ratio of land use, tree, water surface, and flow. Although, nowadays these traditional values are broken by the impact of globalization and urbanization.  People are isolated in the hustle and automated life, lonely and lack intimate communication. That context has a significant influence on the architectural practice process.

My colleagues and I, both architecture lecturers at the Hanoi University of Civil Engineering, established 1+1>2 Architecture firm in 2003 with a motto: Architecture committed to people, to ecological and cultural diversity. Throughout 20 years of practice, working in both urban and rural contexts, from small projects with low budget to large projects in urban setting, including many volunteered projects. In rural areas, we focus on small school projects: 52 school sites have been completed and many are continuing to be built in remote areas. Besides, there are community house projects such as Suoi Re community house, Nam Dam, Cam Thanh... and houses for the impoverished, supporting ethnic minorities to combine service, social functions and economy to improve their living conditions. In urban areas, we persuade and find solutions for investors to create more humane buildings, to preserve and acculturate the core cultural architectural genes of the nation in such projects: Hanging village, Jackfruit village, Earth village, Workers village and Zen village...

1+1>2 is a creative method of integrating practice and research. It is a continuous interaction between academia and folk wisdom, in which each element has the ability to self-improve, approaching  to “1” while always ready to interact with another “1” to create a surplus “1+1>2”. Initial activities are volunteered and community projects carried out by a small group of teachers, architects, students, and the locals, with a spirit of spontaneous, creative, guerrilla and uncompromising, “anything can be architecture”. We experiment, adapt and improve construction methods and technologies, guiding local people new techniques, while learning from them traditional indigenous techniques, which is a two-way data transmission process. After a series of projects, we summarize, evaluate and gain experience to make better improvements. For example, we manufacture on-site clay brick making machines. We combine modern and traditional materials more smoothly, such as bricks, soil, and concrete; bamboo and steel, at low cost. When formed, the buildings have had a spreading value, gradually increasing in both quantity and quality. We are able to connect more resources: local authorities, philanthropists, sponsors, organizations, products suppliers... join hands together. Conveying through real works is an efficient way of architectural practicing. It is true to the saying "a deed is worth more than a thousand words".

From 2015 to 2023, we propose “Happiness Architecture” philosophy with three pillars: Happiness Architects, Happiness Buildings and Happiness Users. A large part of the earth, on all continents, many areas do not have architects, where people make their own architecture, inheriting the wisdom of their ancestors. How can professional architects work for them? Newly developed cities, urban or quickly developed areas, have no identity. We cannot easily distinguish modern high-rise cities when look at the pictures of Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh, Shenzhen or even Dubai… they are the similar. When there are happy architects, working for the sake of nothing but creativity for humanity, protecting ecological and cultural diversity, they will create happy buildings that acculturate the core architectural cultural genes of each land. As the result, happy users will feel both familiar and strange, rising inspiration and the will to interact friendly and compassionately with the surroundings, architecture, and the environment.

The philosophy of Happiness Architecture guides our office in both architectural teaching and practicing. We have established a training model based on the principle of apprenticeship, similar to a martial arts school. The root of happiness architecture is to train happy architects, the model of martial arts school - vocational training parallels knowledge and skills training, while building ethics and social responsibility in practice for the next architect generations. It has been proven to be effective by us through our practicing for 20 years.  At the same time, we are always ready to collaborate, share, and spread values with others in the architectural field as well as in all other fields to join resources in the 1+1>2 method. Each individual and organization is a factor with a sense of self-improvement, forward-thinking, striving to a complete “1” and always ready to combine and resonate with other factors with the same tendency, together creating greater common values.

Triết lý kiến trúc hạnh phúc 1+1>2: với kiến trúc sư hạnh phúc và người sử dụng (bao gồm chủ đầu tư) hạnh phúc.

Công trình tồn tại bền vững – tiếp biến văn hóa bản địa. 


Phương thức 1+1>2: Hợp trội giữa sáng tạo của kiến trúc sư với mong muốn và nguồn lực khách hàng; Giữa đổi mới khoa học công nghệ với các giá trị cốt lõi truyền thống; Kết nối dịch vụ với nhà cung cấp uy tín hàng đầu trong ngành xây dựng. Công trình là giá trị lớn hơn tổng từng thành phần.

Kiến trúc sư vừa thử nghiệm mô hình, vừa vận động, thuyết phục xã hội, kết nối các nguồn lực…, vừa đồng thời phát hiện, tiếp biến những giá trị bản địa cốt lõi vào trong một ngôn ngữ kiến trúc bền vững, hiện đại




Hoang Thuc Hao’s commitment to vernacular architecture in rural communities : He describes his gilding philosophy as “Happiness architecture 1+1>2”, an equation combining architecture and core vernacular values to generate a common voice greater than the sum of its parts. His commitment to ameliorating the daily lives of Vietnamese people living in poverty in highland and rural areas of Viet Nam while respecting both local traditional cultures and the natural environment.


  • National University of Civil Engineering | 1987 - 1992
  • Polytechnic University of Turin - Italy | 2000 - 2003


  • National University of Civil Engineering | Lecturer in Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning 2003 - Present | Specialized in Sustainable Architecture.
  • National University of Civil Engineering | President of Architecture Union 2015 - present.
  • Vietnam Association of Architects (VAA) | Vice President | 2010 - Current.
  • Vietnam Green Architecture Council | Member of Executive Board | 2010 - Current.
  • Vietnam Youth Union | Member of Executive Board | 1995 - 2019.
  • 1+ 1 > 2 International Architecture Office| Founder - Chief Architect | 2003 - Current.
  • Anti-Flood Program | Member | 2014 | Currently promoting for the establishment of Anti-Flood Fund - Green Community Fund - 200 Houses have been built since the middle of 2013.
  • “Schools for Impoverished children in rural area” program | Chief Architect | 2014 - Current | Responsible for designing and constructing schools in Vietnam’s Northern mountainous area.
  • Private Fund for Community Architecture | Founder | 2015 - Current.
  • Lecture at Art Institute of Chicago, National University of Singapore, TU Delft (Netherlands), Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, Quebec University (Canada).
  • Jury Member of World Architecture Festival | Berlin - 2016, 2017, and 2023.
  • ARCH+ Exhibition and Talk show about Community Architecture .
  • Presentation at the WAF (World Architecture Festival) | Singapore, Berlin, Barcelona.
  • Exhibition at Cornell University: 2023 WPreston H. Thomas Memorial. -Symposiu- FRINGE: New Centers of Architecture and Urbanism.


  • Suoi Re Community House (Hoa Binh) | 2010
  • Ta Phin Community House (Sa Pa, Lao Cai | 2013
  • Chieng Yen Community House| 2015
  • Nam Dam Homestay and Community House (Hà Giang)| 2015
  • Cam Thanh Community House (Hoi An) | 2015
  • Lung Luong Primary School (Thai Nguyen) | 2015
  • Sentia School (Hanoi) | 2016
  • Ban Ly School (Chieng Khoang) | 2019
  • Happiness Center of Bhutan (Bhutan) | 2016
  • Children’s Playground System | 2016
  • Housing Program for Flooded Region | 2016
  • Vertical village - Pixel (Hanoi) | 2016
  • Vegetable Nursery System Made of Recycled Material | 2016
  • Worker's Housing (Lao Cai) | 2016 - Hanging village (Hanoi) | 2016
  • The country house (Dong Nai) | 2017
  • Jackfruit Village (Hanoi) | 2018
  • DAO School (Xuan Hoa) | 2018
  • Da Hop School (Hoa Binh) | 2019
  • School System in Moutainous and Remote Areas (52 School completed) | 2014 - 2021
  • Bat Trang Pottery Museum (Hanoi) | 2020
  • Dewey School (Hanoi) | 2020 - Vietnam Institute for Advanced Study in Mathematics (Hanoi) | 2020


  • Biennale SOFIA Award | 1994
  • UIA Award (International Union of Architects) | 1996
  • First Prize of DAAD, Vietnam - Germany Science and Technology Center | 1996
  • The highest Prize of UIA Barbara Cappochin Award | 2011
  • Winner World Architecture Festival Award (WAF). Community Category | 2015
  • Vietnamese Architect of the Year| 2015 - Gold Prize of Vietnam Green Architecture| 2016
  • SIA-Getz Architecture Prize 2016 for Emergent Architecture in Asia| 2016
  • 4 Architecture Master Prizes (AMP)| 2018 - 2020
  • Gold winner in category Resort Buildings Arcasia Award for Architecture | 2020
  • 07 Spec Go Green Awards| 2014 - 2018 - 16 National Architecture Awards | 2006 - 2023
  • 12 Green Good Design Awards | 2011 - 2021
  • 06 Vietnam Green Architecture Awards | 2013 - 2021
  • 05 Futurarc Green Leadership Awards | 2011 - 2020
  • 07 Arcasia Architecture Awards - AAA | 2011 - 2021
  • 07 The International Architecture Awards IAA Chicago | 2011 - 2021
  • Winner of The Vassilis Sgoutas Prize for Implemented Architecture Serving the Impoverished| UIA Triennalrizes 2017
  • Winner of The Robert Matthew Prize for Sustainable and Humane Environments | UIA Triennal Prizes 2023
View detail




Director of Urban Planning


Director of Social Architecture




Co-Founder, Vice Director


Co-Founder, Vice Director


Deputy Construction Director


Vice Director




1994 - Biennale SOFIA Award

1996 - UIA Award (International Union of Architects)

1996 - First Prize of DAAD, Vietnam - Germany Science and Technology Center

2011 - The highest Prize of UIA Barbara Cappochin Award

2015 - Winner World Architecture Festival Award (WAF). Community Category

2015 - Vietnamese Architect of the Year

2016 - Gold Prize of Vietnam Green Architecture

2017 - Winner of The Vassilis Sgoutas Prize for Implemented Architecture Serving the Impoverished| UIA Triennalrizes

2014 - 2018 - 07 Spec Go Green Awards

2019 - Ashui Awards 2019 - Green Build of the year

2011 - 2020 - 05 Futurarc Green Leadership Awards

2018 - 2020 - 4 Architecture Master Prizes (AMP)



Companion fund