Vietnamese firm H&P Architects believes it might have solved this problem, by designing a new type of terrestrial dwelling that floats above the flood.
These prototype homes are in part constructed from bamboo, which couldn’t be more plentiful locally, and are topped off with a traditional leaf thatch. The corners of the roofs lift up like triangular shutters, to help get the air flowing inside – a boon when it’s humid. Yet in heavy downpours these corners can be closed and the owners can literally batten down the hatches. Meanwhile, oil drums are set into the base of each building, providing buoyancy.
Each house is anchored to the ground with four steel rods, with the oil drums serving as the base that the house sits on. When the rains come, the house rises on its rods, stopping it washing away. There’s a pleasant look and feel to these buildings too. The Hanoi architects have included a vertical garden on one façade. Plants, flowers and some vegetables can nestle in bamboo plant holders, out of reach of the water.