Sharing session on creative park design

In 2019, the international design competition for the 16-hectare Ho Chi Minh City Central Park was won by LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture), and its partner, Aspect Studio. enCity had the chance to hear about their award-winning proposal during our sharing session with Nguyen Xuan Man, LAVA’s Project Lead Architect, last Friday, 6 August 2021.

Known as the September 23rd or 23-9 Park, the site for the central park project was the location of the city’s old central railway station, which was considered the first in Southeast Asia. Currently, it serves as a modest urban amenity for locals and tourists, housing a main bus interchange, an underground shopping mall and a park venue for cultural events, with a new metro station under way. LAVA’s design takes inspiration from the park’s transportation heritage by translating the former rail tracks into pedestrian and cycling paths that undulate in a series of connected ramps and walkways. Seemingly organic, these networks were optimised using a simulation program to ensure the smooth flow of people and cyclists. The masterplan also manages to keep 90% of the existing trees and introduces artificial ones that harvest solar power, reduce heat gain, and purify collected rainwater. Diverse programs, such as a light show, a fountain plaza, a sound playground, sports areas and sunken gardens that connect to a new subterranean commercial hub, breathe life into the park and create rich experiences for visitors. Blending the past, present and future, LAVA’s design transforms the September 23 Park into a world-class destination for the whole city.

For more information on LAVA and their projects, you can find them here: