An Oasis in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City

DKO Architecture has unveiled City Gardens, a sinuous and striking four-tower complex in Vietnam’s capital 


Designed by multidisciplinary firm DKO Architecture and located in heart of Ho Chi Minh’s district two, City Gardens is a luxurious urban escape that is emblematic of the city’s rapid economic and population growth. ‘The development was envisioned as a peaceful haven within the bustling city. We then set out looking at the notion of the home as a tranquil and beautiful stage amidst this frenetic backdrop,’ explains Brandon Hng, director of DKO Architecture’s Ho Chi Minh office.

‘The original inspiration for the towers was based on the curved terrains of hillside ride paddies in rural Vietnam. The undulating shape of the towers also provided the opportunity to maximise views towards the river and the city skyline,’ adds Raymond Mah, one of the firm’s global directors. The four distinctive towers, ranging between 21 and 31 storeys, join in figure of eight floorplans via a promenade of lobbies and covered pedestrian pathways. 

Inspired by the local character and maximising the surrounding nature, the towers are set among a landscaped garden designed by Element Design Studio. A spacious recreational area offers facilities like a kindergarten and jogging path, while a basement car park ensures the shared area remains car-free. A multilevel luxury clubhouse, complete with a gym and pool-side restaurant, sits next to three free-form swimming pools, a sun deck and swim-up bar.

The complex offers nearly 1,000 apartments, all in a natural and serene colour palette. Each home boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping views of Van Thanh Park to the north and Saigon River and the zoological gardens to the south. Kitchens are located centrally to act as the heart of each home, and mirrored splashbacks artfully reflect the city lights back into the apartment. Spacious covered balconies offer shelter from the tropical climate’s summer heat and monsoon rains, and since multiple generations often share a family home, the apartments are also dual key residences. 

One of the complex’s most striking features are the six penthouses. The Sky Residences are on a circular floor plan, and to ensure privacy in what might be a multigenerational family home, the master bedroom is located behind a hidden door with a walk-in wardrobe and marble lined bathroom, while the kitchen features wet and dry spaces and a scullery. 

The penthouses are outfitted with natural stone, hardwood flooring and timber cabinetry in a muted colour palette in order to neutralise the intense tropical sun. The furniture selection includes classic pieces such as 412 Cab chairs by Mario Bellini, FLOS Luminator lamps by Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni and HAY Pion lights by Studio Bertjan Pot. The penthouses also boast secluded sky decks, enclosed green terraces and infinity pools linked to the master suites and covered deck areas. 

The top penthouses of each tower are also ringed by a halo of light, creating a visage of four floating halos when dusk falls, and marking the development as a beacon in the city. 

Text / Babette Radclyffe-Thomas
Images / Hiroyuki Oki