In researching and studying Vietnamese modernist architecture, we came to the conclusion that Americans had very little influence on the development of Vietnamese modernist architecture in southern Vietnam from 1945 to 1975. Although there was a huge American construction program in the 1960s, most of that was devoted to infrastructure such as airports, seaports, military bases, highways, and bridges.
But this housing project at 239 Cách Mạng Tháng Tám street in District Three did exhibit some American influence. Most Vietnamese modernist apartment buildings appeared lighter through the use of inset double-wall construction and sun-blocking elements. This building, which was being demolished when Alexandre Garel photographed it last Springtime, appears heavier because the exterior walls and windows are brought out to the sun, and balconies are added on the building rather than being inset as in Vietnamese housing. [photograph © 2018 by Alexandre Garel]