Hybrid Landscapes: Nature, Architectural Form, and Cultural Programming for Resiliency in the Mekong Delta
The Vietnamese Mekong Delta is a region characterized by the entwined natural and human landscapes that are perpetually being redefined. From the colonial periods to postwar nation-building, homogeneous modernization ideologies has led to a commodification of the delta and disjunction between the people and natural resources that sustain them. This thesis hybridizes architecture and programming to revive the nature-as-culture identity, reconciling war-torn and exploited mangrove landscapes with the locals that depend on them. Situated in Năm Căn, a rural coastal town, proposed education and community buildings will house new cultural programs. Education classes will foster a sustainable high-value shrimp economy for small-scale farmers. Workshops will promote cultural exchange through mangrove-based programs for local skills development, traditional craft tutorials for tourists, and coastal protection. These programs are facilitated by place-specific architectural strategies that reconnect people to their environment, and to one another, in a dynamic social space at the river’s edge.