The Clay Houses are common houses of some ethnic groups in northern mountainous provinces of Vietnam. However, the Clay House of the Ha Nhi ethnic groups has its own unique features, coupled with the technical foundation and embankment stone wall, rammed earth technique, patching wooden frame method, four isosceles trapezoid roofs, and thatched roof form a pointed tip. Houses have earth and wooden flooring and an elevated section to adapt to the environmental conditions and climate.
To make a solid and durable house, the Ha Nhi people always meticulously plan the home layout. First, they select the flat rocks to make the foundation. Foundations are dug about two inches deep and stone embankment combined with a binder is built about two inches higher.
The Ha Nhi Clay Houses are built according soil moisture and with compaction press. With plywood molds are bracing, builder poured into the ground and then holding wooden pestle pounding until soil binder to make together. Out of turn to turn the first floor 2nd floor, 3rd, per floor size 40 cm high formwork. Buildings usually every 5-6 times higher formwork floor is enough. With ingenuity, gifted hands and buider’s strength, the outer wall gradually develops with certainty, solidity, smoothness, and with sharp the corner doors and windows. The Ha Nhi people used grass-thatched roofs with many layers, the roots facing down and then splinted together.
The Ha Nhi people’s House usually had three or four small windows, opened primarily for ventilation and light. The interior design includes the parent’s bedroom and living area. The guest bed and unmarried son usually sleep in the corridor. The dinning space and kitchen are on the ground floor.
A traditional house requires good soil walls. Nails are made of rocks and dig about 1meter above the ground. Doors are wooden and the roof is thatched grass. The Ha Nhi House has a veranda and short-pitched roof. Each house is has an area of about 65-80m2. The beauty of the walls of the Ha Nhi House is reflected in the simplicity of the wall painting in thick red soil 40-50cm high 4-5m with a thatched roof to match the extreme weather in Sapa.
Foundation stones generally large and place just above the ground. Th
e frame work as bracing is placed on the foundation stones. The most elaborate construction is building the earthen wall into the frame work, using wooden pestle to compact the soil together with reinforcing rocks, creating a solid wall upon which are placed wooden roof beams. These house’s walls are very thick to keep the interior warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Based on the idea of the Ha Nhi traditional House, Sapa Clay House is an innovative example of combination of traditional housing and modern architecture that creates an environmentally friendly structure. With the desire of being the best destination of mountain retreat of Sapa. Sapa Clay House offers long-term or short term accommodations ideal for retreat, dinning and relaxing. In the Tokin Spa visitors may combine Meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi, allowing travelers to unwind, relax and be closer to Mother Earth.