Galerie Quynh is pleased to present In Situ – an ambitious exhibition by Ho Chi Minh City-based architectural duo Hoanh Tran and Archie Pizzini of HTA + pizzini. The show will feature photo and text-based work along with installations that not only highlight the concepts driving their architectural practice but also reveal the pair’s own creative responses to the city they inhabit.
Observing the shifts in Vietnam’s social and cultural fabric alongside the rapid physical growth of its urban centers like Ho Chi Minh City, Tran and Pizzini regard the city as a transient organism – one that is impermanent, sensitive to the flux of Vietnam’s economic growth. Some architects will demolish existing sites to create something completely new to signify a modern city; others on the extreme pole will attempt to preserve the history of the site, eschewing any plans to modify the site and wishing to restore the building to its former glory. Tran and Pizzini deliberately tread a middle, more sustainable ground where they choose to build upon the rich layers of the history of a specific site. Tran states, “A city is enriched by accumulations over generations… Accumulation incorporates destruction, but keeps enough fabric to retain cultural identity, while obliteration erases everything, including the cultural fabric.”
Appropriately, Tran and Pizzini are presenting their work in the very gallery space they designed in 2013. Over a century old, the building’s rich social and historical layering provided the conceptual framework for the architects to design with accumulation and transience in mind. Pizzini reflects, “Can [the word] historic refer to a structure that embodies the events that have passed through it by showing the marks and residue of different circumstances, impulses and ventures? What type of building, the pristinely preserved, or the densely accreted, is most deeply infused with history?” In Situ is a poignant and poetic testament to the architects’ ethical position favoring sustainability and resilience.
HTA + pizzini is an architectural practice founded in 2004 by Hoanh Tran and Archie Pizzini. Major projects include Altitude Skybar at the Sheraton Hotel in Nha Trang; Bun Ta Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City; the first Galerie Quynh as well as the current one on Dong Khoi Street in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam; and the Avalon Apartments in Ho Chi Minh City.
Hoanh Tran was originally educated as a chemist and worked in the National Gallery of Art conservation department in Washington D.C. He received his Master of Historic Preservation degree from Columbia University in New York in 1990, and a Master of Architecture from SCI-Arc in Los Angeles in 1995. Hoanh lived and worked in New York and Hong Kong before returning to Ho Chi Minh City in 1996 where he worked as an architect prior to establishing HTA + pizzini.
Archie Pizzini studied Architecture and Fine Arts as an undergraduate at Rice University in Houston, Texas where he also subsequently earned a BFA degree in painting. He received his Master of Architecture at the University of Houston in 1989. Archie is a registered architect in the U.S. and practiced architecture in America for fifteen years before arriving in Vietnam. He has exhibited his paintings, photos and installations in Paris, Chicago, Houston, Ho Chi Minh City and Tokyo.
Tran and Pizzini have co-taught in several design studios and are PhD candidates in Architecture with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.