Welcome to the New York Architecture Diary, your essential guide to architecture exhibitions and events taking place across the city.
A chapel, a courthouse, a barracks, a beacon. For hundreds of years, the rong house, or Nhà Rông, has functioned as a spiritual, cultural, administrative, and focal center of minority villages throughout Vietnam's Central Highlands. Distinguishable by its massive, steeply pitched roof, stilt construction, large balconies, and locally sourced materials, the formal manifestation of the Nhà Rông is a rich juxtaposition of context and symbol. A Nhà Rông is part of the visual identity of a village, and as such, the scale and elaborateness of the rong are seen as a reflection of the power and wealth of the village itself.
On Ritual and Resilience: The Nhà Rông of Vietnam is a formal and contextual investigation of the Nhà Rông as a vernacular building type. The exhibition showcases four prototypical Nhà Rông from the Kon Tum and Gia Rai provinces in Vietnam. Through a series of technical drawings and photographs, the project investigates the unique qualities of the Nhà Rông across different ethnic groups and localities, and studies how environmental, political, and other factors have influenced the design, use, and contextual development.
Rachel Kaplan (M.Arch. '14) is an architectural designer at MDSzerbaty Associates in New York City. On Ritual and Resilience: The Nhà Rông of Vietnam presents research funded by the 2017–18 Eidlitz Travel Fellowship.
There is an opening reception Monday, April 9, 6 - 8 p.m.