The (first) KTT sentenced to death

Birth’s view of the “collective area” of Thanh Cong. (Source: Ba Dinh District People’s Committee).

The Ba Dinh District People’s Committee yesterday held a public consultation on the program for the demolition and reconstruction of a residential complex known as the Thanh Cong’s “collective area”. The building in question is composed of five blocks of 5-storey (G6A, G6B, G22, G23, G24) and represents a typical example of residential building known as KTT (Khu Tập Thể / “collective area”), a type of public housing developed between the 1960s and 1980s with the collaboration of designers from the former Soviet bloc. The Thanh Cong “open” compound is composed of a total of 86 blocks of prefabricated buildings and houses 5,000 families equal to 18,200 people. Part of this area belongs to the redevelopment program of 10 historic KTTs destined to be replaced in the coming years with high-level residential and commercial interventions.

Aerial view and Masterplan of the new “collective area” of Thanh Cong. 1. The area that would remain unchanged. 2. Hoa Mi Kindergarten. 3. Relocation Apartment Building built on G6A and G6B KTT). 4. Tax office building. 5. and 6. Commercial and Service Building built on Block G22; 23; 24 KTT. (Source: Ba Dinh District People’s Committee).

The area in question is bordered to the west by Nguyen Hong Road, which overlooks Thanh Cong Lake; to the south by a new traffic island approximately 10m wide; to the east from Hoa Mi Kindergarten; and to the north by the lot where the headquarters of the Hanoi Tax Department will be built. Within this block, the new 24-storey complex (32,500 m2) will be built for a total number of approximately 300 apartments, of which 220 will be used for the resettlement of the families who lived there. These residential towers will rest on a three-story “podium” dedicated to commercial spaces and community activities. Three underground floors (8,000 m2) will be used as parking.

In this first phase of “urban gentrification”, 218 families will be interested in the program. We are talking about 771 people (registered) living in blocks G6A and G6B, who before their demolition will be temporarily relocated to other areas of the city, to then regain possession of the new accommodation within the new complex according to the surface compensation of the K=2. This will mean that anyone who lived in a 40 m2 unit will have the right to resettle in an 80 m2 apartment. When the families return to Thanh Cong they will find themselves living in a very different context from the one they left. This intervention will lead to a significant morphological and social upheaval, breaking an urban and social fabric that still works well and which would only need to be updated. The “podium tower” is a very different typology from that of the KTTs, made up of buildings that do not exceed 5 floors, organized by inclusive spaces and areas of relevance that facilitate identity and community relations.

Project view of the new complex on grounds G6A, G6B. (Source: Ba Dinh District People’s Committee).

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