In our upcoming book, "Southern Vietnamese Modernist Architecture", we make the claim that the period of Vietnamese history between 1945 through 1975 can be considered a golden age of Vietnamese modernism. Unlike most places in the world, Vietnam embraced modernism and the industrial age, and the development of Vietnamese modernist architecture during this period brought forth a distinctive version of modern architecture that is unique in the world. This mid-twentieth-century architecture in Vietnam parallels the development of mid-century modern architecture in America and other places around the world.
Most of the projects featured in our book were designed during that period, but all of them were buildings that Alexandre Garel could find and photograph. Therefore there were a lot of beautiful projects that we could not include. The photograph above illustrates one of the best examples of Vietnamese modernism. It shows the Standard Vacuum Oil Company building that was constructed in downtown Saigon in 1955. The building later became known as the ESSO building. Unfortunately, it was demolished in 2011.
The architect is unknown. Some speculate that it might have been an American firm, but the architecture is consistent with the characteristics of Vietnamese modernist architecture developed by Vietnamese architects.
Photo source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:StanVacBuilding1955.jpg, user latinsq