After considering several solutions to expand its headquarters, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has decided to take up a proposal by U.S. architecture firm Gensler, which will not demolish a 130-year-building in downtown Saigon, but build on it.
The city’s Department of Planning and Architecture will work with the American firm to come up with the most feasible plan, the administration recently announced.
This 130-year-old French colonial structure adjacent to the iconic Ben Thanh Market is the second oldest building in Saigon. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
The department had proposed earlier that the city’s People’s Committee invites international experts to make detailed plans on preserving the old building, which faced the threat of demolition as part of a proposed expansion plan for the city’s People’s Committee headquarters.
In their petition, experts and other signatories had dismissed the argument that the building not being part of an official list of heritage sites was a valid reason for demolishing it.
The building in question was built by the French in the 1860s, upgraded in 1890, and used for the management and operations of all civil and judicial activities during colonial times. It is the second oldest building in Saigon, after a 228-year-old house that belonged to Bishop Ba Da Loc.
It is currently the headquarters of the city’s Department of Information and Communications, located at 59-61 Ly Tu Trong Street in District 1.
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