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Vietnam’s Hanoi, the city of ‘tube houses’

VIETNAM (AFP): Tall, thin and brightly colored, Hanoi’s “tube houses” dominate the city’s streets as 9 million people compete for space in Vietnam’s bustling capital.

Narrow residential houses, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese, or “tube houses,” in an urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo

Although Vietnam saw a number of villas and garden houses built during the French colonial period, Hanoi has few of these grand residential homes.

A woman looks out of a window of a narrow residential house, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese or “tube house,” in an urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo

Instead, tree-lined streets are packed with dwellings that are barely 4 meters (13 feet) wide but are three times that in depth.

An aerial view of narrow residential houses, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese or “tube houses,” in a densely populated urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo

Typically, a tube house might be home to a family of four, but two or three generations of relatives sometimes have to jostle for space.

A man checks his mobile phone against the backdrop of narrow residential houses, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese or “tube houses,” in a densely populated urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo

The first tube houses are thought to have appeared in the capital at the end of the 19th century, when villagers looking to sell silver, traditional herbs and tools began to move to the area.

An aerial view of narrow residential houses, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese or “tube houses,” in a densely populated urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo

A narrow architectural style evolved from the limited available space, said Tran Quoc Bao, a senior lecturer at the National University of Civil Engineering.

A street vendor walks past narrow residential houses, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese or “tube houses,” in a densely populated urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo

The design is still a favorite in modern day Hanoi, where architects now refer to them as “adjoining houses.”

An aerial view of narrow residential houses, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese or “tube houses,” in a densely populated urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo

“This model of house is essential for an urban architect (today). The adjoining house is a combination of both the traditional and modern residence,” the Hanoi-based lecturer told Agence France-Presse (AFP), adding that they can also be found in many other Vietnamese cities.

Narrow residential houses, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese or “tube houses,” seen in an urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo
An aerial view of narrow residential houses, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese or “tube houses,” in a densely populated urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo
Narrow residential houses, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese or “tube houses,” in an urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo
Narrow residential houses, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese or “tube houses,” are seen in a reflection in an urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo
Narrow residential houses, known as “nha ong” in Vietnamese or “tube houses,” are seen at sunset in an urban area of Hanoi, Vietnam, June 8, 2021. AFP Photo

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