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Vietnamese Man Uses Two Creeping Plants to Turn 5-Storey Building Into a Vertical Garden

Located deep in Hanoi’s Dong Da district is one of the Vietnamese capital’s most unique landmarks – a 5-storey apartment buildings completely covered by a living, creeping, green curtain.

The so-called “living building” of Hanoi is the work of Prof. Dr. Hoang Nhu Tang – former lecturer at Hanoi University of Civil Engineering and resident of this unique edifice. It all started 30 years ago, in 1990, back when this was one of the tallest constructions in the area, which basically meant that it had almost no shelter from the scorching sun during the summer. That made it very uncomfortable to live in in the hot season, so Hoang Nhu Tang decided to plant two creeper plants known for their ability to both filter sunlight and also regulate the temperature in building they grow on. His idea worked, and three decades later, the plants still fulfill their intended purpose, while also attracting curios sightseers from all over the city and beyond.

Photo: Dantri

“In 1990, this area was mostly low-rise, so the sunlight hit the building all through the day making living in it very hard. Therefore, I chose to grow creeper plants to limit sunlight from entering my house,” Prof. Dr. Hoang Nhu Tang told Dantri

Photo: Dantri

Seen from afar, this unique building seems covered in rows upon rows of different plants, but according to the Vietnamese retiree, there are in fact only two of them, planted on different sides of the building and guided on a custom made frame, all the way to the top.

Photo: Kenh14

Hoang started by building the frame on the outside of the building, using wood, iron bard and plastic cables. He claims that it only took the creeper plants 8 or 9 years to completely cover the whole place, but insists that guiding them towards that end was the hardest part. Nowadays, all he has to do is prune the two plants once or twice a month, using tools that he himself designed.

Photo: Kenh14

“Many people say that planting creeper plants like these attracts mosquitoes, but on the contrary, thanks to the protective curtain, the air in the house is very fresh, cool, and my house does not have mosquitoes,” the proud pensioner said. “The house is a peaceful place that helps people live in harmony with nature in this cramped urban center.”

Photo: Dantri

While I couldn’t figure out what species of creeper these two plants are, I think’s it’s safe to assume that it’s not one of those that burrow into walls, affecting the integrity of the structure over long periods of time. Plus, Hoang Nhu Tang keeps an eye on them, constantly trimming and pruning them, to prevent them from covering certain areas, like the windows.

Photo: Dantri

If you’re the kind of person who likes their plants inside the house, check out this apartment turned urban botanical garden, with over 1,400 potted plants. And here how it looks like when indoor creeping plants are left unattended for months at a time.

Photo: Kenh14

Photo: Kenh14