INTRODUCTION

 

THANH HÀ TERRA COTTA PARK
Address: Block 5, Thanh Hà ward, Hoi An City, Quảng Nam province.
Investor : nhavietcorp

Thanh Hà terracotta park
 

The river is the water you see, but also the water that has passed and the water that is still to come. Today is the past as well as the future. It is a sequential collection of moments, giving the impression of one continuous flow, one river. This Buddhist way of describing a river is a perfect design description of the Thanh Ha Terra Cotta Park museum. The museum is a continuous shift were past, present and future influence each other.

The Thanh Ha village was famous for its pottery, bricks and tiles. Especially the unique Ying and Yang tiles which you can still see on many roofs in the old city of Hoi An. There is so much beautiful to build with bricks. There is a reason why so many visitors want to visit the Cham temples nearby in My Son. The red bricks, typical for the clay in the region, are also used for the building of the museum. The museum is designed, build and founded by Nguyen Van Nguyen and asociates. Born and raised in the village and inspired by the century old traditional way of working by the craftsman and the rich history of the region, he left the village to study architecture and began the successful company, NhaViet cop.

Nha is Vietnamese for house. It is interesting that “Nhà của tôi” means “my home” but in the North it can also be translated as “My Wife”. In a family oriented society a house is much more than a building. It is where the family lives and there is always a prominent place for the family that physically is no longer there, as well as place for the new generations. Like a river a house is as well today, as the past, as the future.

Vietnamese like their ancestors, especially the ones who did great things. You find their sculptures in temples, pagodas and community houses. In some way a museum also has this function. However this museum park does not honor one particular person, it is an homage to the Thanh Ha Village. Literally in the design of the building and figuratively in its function. The village is completely surrounded by rivers, the main reason why the founders of the pottery village several hundred’s years ago decided to make Thanh Ha their home. Rivers are excellent to transport heavy bricks. The village even created their own special boats for this purpose.

Like the village is completely surrounded by water, the museum is completely surrounded by the village. Its interior is designed like the houses of the pottery craftsman: the kiln (oven), the potter’s wheel, the workshop and the place for presentation. Eating and sleeping is done where there is place left. There is a small restaurant and two guest rooms for the artists in residence, who work and live in the museum.

The park is modeled after a potter’s wheel. From the wheel, four fingers arise that form the clay and sprinkle the water that is a necessity for pottery. The two big buildings found their origin not only in the Cham and Sa Huynh way of building, but they are also inspired by the two kind of kiln’s in the village: the updraft and the downdraft kiln. When you enter the gallery and walk on the stairways to the top, you know for sure it is an updraft kiln. You move through the building like hot air moves through the kiln. Standing at the stairway on the upper floor that leads to the roof, you see only sky. One visitor noted that it looks like the stairway to heaven, and that might be the feeling of the fire in the updraft kiln. It can escape at the top. On the floor above the gallery products are shown from other Vietnamese terracotta villages. The top floor is dedicated to the excavations that revealed how the Cham built and how people lived in the Sa Huynh time. 

The other building is like a downdraft kiln. The fire has to go back down. This oven can reach a much higher heat but is more difficult to build. Walking from the gallery building to the Thanh Ha building, you cannot miss the doors with the shape of the kiln fire holes. They are very open and high and give a good cooling when you sit down to have a drink in our restaurant. The top floor gives the building its name.  A historical and informative overview of the Thanh Ha village and the reason for its fame in pottery in past and present. Now life is not easy for the craftsman in the village, the competition with the industrial products is huge. Nevertheless the amount of lovers of handwork is increasing and with the museum as a big brother nearby the future looks brighter.  The influence of our museum is clearly seen, several villagers see new possibilities and most shops are getting a facelift.

The rivers that 500 years ago brought a group of craftsman from the north and founded the village, those rivers who made it possible that the specific boats transport the famous Thanh Ha products all over the country and further, these rivers are now bringing tourists from all over the world. They come and bring the Thanh Ha terracotta and memories back home, all over the world again. 

 
Images of construction:
 
The date commenced construction the park
 
 
The gate into park
 
 
Landscape
 
Miniature world
 
 
The space has showed in the museum
 
Traditional pottery village - Vinh Long pottery village
 
Sa huỳnh terracotta
 
Terracotta oven
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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