Saigon Community Sports Center (Tao Dan’s puzzle piece)

Ho Chi Minh City Labor Culture Palace is a combination of cultural, physical training and sports activities of the city's people since 1975. The project has solved the problem of the volume of sports fields needed for population density in District 1 but still recreated the permeable area of the green area. Besides, the works of historical value are not even in dispute, but together they create the typical value of Tao Dan Garden and Saigon's overall urban historical area.
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Designer(s) : Le Nguyen Trong Hieu

University : University of Architecture, Ho Chi Minh City

Tutor(s) : Tran Dinh Nam

Ho Chi Minh City Labor Culture Palace is an architectural work consisting of a cluster of buildings and stadiums serving cultural, physical and sports activities of the city’s people as well as many other places. . Cung has the address at 55B, Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
Since a long time ago, in Vietnamese speech, people often use “Playing Sports” but rarely say Exercise or Practice when they want to talk about sports activities. Perhaps due to the hot and humid climate, people in this tropical land do not have the habit of diligently practising sports like in temperate climate countries. Overall, in Vietnam, people play sports like playing games. Those activities are considered enjoyable things that are played for fun and entertainment.

Saigon’s Tao Dan Garden contains a Labor Cultural Palace, which used to be a French gymnastics and sports club. This place is still commonplace for sports activities of many people in this area and neighbouring areas. Every day from the early morning or until late afternoon, when the sun has just gone out, this area is always bustling with groups of people, couples, and individuals who come here to exercise: walking, jogging, playing badminton, practising meditation, practising nutrition, etc. On weekends, plenty of groups of children, and scouts come to picnic activities and organize movement games. Particularly in the Labor Culture Palace area, almost the entire campus area from Nguyen Thi Minh Khai to Nguyen Du is covered with various yards and gyms for sports. The primary audience in this area is usually groups of friends or family, coming together at the end of the day or weekend, playing sports as a relaxing and rewarding activity. However, it can easily be seen that shops, restaurants, training grounds, and gyms have grown like mushrooms after rain because of the economic benefits, which cause the area to be concreated by 90% of campus land, significantly reducing the value of landscape environmental quality of the park. Most of the yards and gyms are for rent so there are not many spaces for the elderly and children to play sports, so they have to play in the park for free, entirely without accompanying services such as cleaning, packing, and entertainment.
By recognizing the problems as well as the mattering role of this area in sports activities, the project aims at three main goals:

· A Community Sports Center is built to serve the target groups formed from relationships in the social community such as friends, associates, and relatives, creating more opportunities for developing many bonding relationships.

· Provide solutions and services to attract and encourage all types of people to play sports, ensuring a free area with facilities for the particular audience of the community, the elderly, and children.

· Recreate the landscape and environment of the park. The proposed solution is to make the green space and activities seem to be merged, integrated, and restructured together. Furthermore, aiming to restore the green area’s function as the original Ong Thuong garden, the community element will now become much clearer under the Tao Dan Garden.

Under the influence of light, the architecture looks like a mist hidden among the old trees. The raised yards will receive the freshest air flows and activate the convection of the air below. A hedge of small leaves protects the underground area.

After all, the project has solved the problem of the volume of sports fields needed for population density in District 1 but still recreated the permeable area of the green area. Besides, the works of historical value are not even in dispute, but together they create the typical value of Tao Dan Garden and Saigon’s overall urban historical area.