Architects: Nguyen Khai Architects & Associates
Area : 55 m²
Year : 2021
Photographs :Hiroyuki Oki
Manufacturers : American Standard, Malloca, Toto
Architecture Design : Nguyen Quang Khai
“We hope to build a home where the two of us could spend the rest of our life happily and peacefully.” Said the owner of Labri to us at the beginning of this residential project. They are a couple at the age of above 55, the period when most Vietnamese people start to think of retirement. They owned a site area of 100 sqm, located at the end of a small alley within the citadel of Hue city, separated by one of nine ponds in the area, which is a perfect position for us to develop the idea we have in mind after.
Visitors to L’Abri Centres are referred to as students, and personal study remains central to L’Abri’s work, but there are no fixed “classes” or courses. Rather students (who may spend any time from one day to a whole “term,” usually 2–3 months, at L’Abri) meet regularly with a member of staff to discuss the issues they wish to study, and are recommended resources from L’Abri’s library of books, recorded lectures, and talks by L’Abri staff and others. A student’s day is divided into “study time” and “work time.” During “work time,” a student will help with the necessary activities of the community – cooking meals, cleaning, maintenance etc. This division is based on Schaeffer’s constant emphasis that Christianity, and the work of L’Abri, were not only intellectual but had to incorporate all of life, and that a demonstration of “Christian Community” was as central to L’Abri’s work as the intellectual demonstration that he believed could be made of the reasonableness and truthfulness of Christian belief.The L’Abri day revolves around communal meals, often used as an opportunity for formal open discussion, and students are encouraged to pursue interests in art, music and literature.
In a recent article on the group, Molly Worthen suggests that students today come with very different questions, and that they tend to look at the politicized evangelical faith that Schaeffer helped create with suspicion.
Apart from Francis and Edith Schaeffer and their children, several notable Evangelical authors have been influenced by working with L’Abri. Such former staff include Os Guinness, Hans Rookmaaker, Greg Laughery, and Wade Bradshaw.
The L’Abri study center in Rochester, Minnesota also organizes bi-annual “L’Abri Conferences” in the USA and Canada at which L’Abri staff from across the world and other speakers supportive of the vision of L’Abri speak and lead seminars on a wide range of topics. In 2005, a conference was held in St. Louis, Missouri to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the organization, and over 1,000 attendees were present to hear speakers such as Os Guinness, Harold O. J. Brown, and Chuck Colson.
Apart from humans, there are other creatures living inside this shelter, or may we call this forest. There are birds, butterflies, and trees which make up the majority of the living members. Vines are the special ones among the interior plants. They gradually climb up and weave into each other around each block, making a green wall to attain privacy and help balance the air. Frangipani is a local plant that we believe is most suitable to grow on top. It blossoms in spring, becomes leafy in the summer, and sheds its leaves when winter comes. During the dry season in Hue, frangipani spreads out its branches to cover the house against intense sunlight. When the rainy season comes along with many storms and heavy rainfall, bare frangipani trees stand still and unharmed.Four blocks, with different heights, are put randomly and rotated at different angles based on the existence of some elements on-site. All are connected by pathways and accessible through fixed ladders. Taking a walk on the top of the house is like walking through the rolling mountain range. Under the mountains, there are caves that are cool and safe, except it is far from darkness. The four caves which are made of glass are always full of natural sunlight and wind to comfort all the residents. The interior of the living/dining block, kitchen block, bathroom block, and sleeping block are designed based on basic needs while still fulfilling minimal aesthetics
There are no boundaries in Labri, no interior walls to separate spaces, and no exterior walls to block the house from the outside world. Residents could see through every space in Labri, from the kitchen to the sleeping space, from the front yard to the courtyards, and even frangipani trees on the rooftop. As most romantic as it could be, they could watch the moon and stars in bed at night, or raindrop slips on the glass on rainy days.
It is nice to blend with nature, to breathe between nature, and go back to the old lifestyle when everything is just as simple as it used to be. We believe that the existence of minimalism in how we think, feel and act will lead us to sustainable value. Labri is a home for anyone who wants to find inner peace and recognize our origin as nature lovers.
In 1947 Francis and Edith moved to Switzerland to work as missionaries for the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions (IBPFM) in Europe. Following a spiritual crisis in 1951, and disagreements with theologians such as Carl McIntire, Schaeffer and his wife left IBPFM in 1955, to pursue their dream of working with young people. They moved to Huémoz where they would establish L’Abri. Word of mouth soon led to an increasing stream of visitors, with one period in the summer of 1956 averaging 31 visitors per week. International distribution of tapes of Schaeffer’s lectures also helped to raise awareness of Schaeffer’s work.
L’Abri would come to own and operate several buildings in Huémoz. It came to include four kinds of people: short-term guests; students, who divided their time between study and communal work; workers, who participated in discussions and the work of hospitality; and members, who were part of the decision-making process.
Following Schaeffer’s death in 1984, L’Abri would continue to grow. In the present day, L’Abri has operations in a number of different countries. As of 2011, L’Abri has residential “Study Centres” in the United States (Minnesota and Massachusetts), Canada, South Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. It also has non-residential “Resource Centres”, run by friends of the organization in Brazil and Germany.
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