The Destruction of a Villa
Across the lane from my apartment, there used to be this gorgeous villa. A family lived there for awhile, but then they moved. And then in moved the construction crews. I woke up one day to men on the roof taking off the tiles and then endured weeks of jack-hammering as they destroyed the cement roof to make way for two more floors. The sign above the gate says “Office Space and Serviced Apartments Coming Soon!” I’m sad to see the unique architectural features of this villa disappear into boxed frames and rectangle windows.
Fact of the matter is, Hanoi is one big construction zone. Everywhere you look there are buildings being torn down, built up or even changed. It’s part of a very enthusiastic master plan to make Hanoi a major metropolis. One has to wonder how this will all pan out. One of the buildings that went up next to my friend Mette’s apartment building didn’t get authorization for the sixth floor they built, so they had to take it down a floor! Can you imagine?
My neighborhood is a mixture of old French villas, traditional Vietnamese houses and newer apartment buildings (like mine). With more and more foreigners moving to Vietnam and moving to my part of town, Tay Ho (West Lake), these type of construction projects are only going to continue. In fact, since I moved into this apartment (#2 since moving to Hanoi), I have had ongoing construction next to and near me everyday.
I’m fascinated by the way home and apartments are built in Vietnam. There is such a lack of order, no concern for safety, and construction sites are just an utter mess. I’ve taken photos before of construction in my neighborhood, and have also been in the habit of taking a photo of this villa every few days or so. Here’s a few to show the progress.