Lac Tinh Garden House
Just under two thousand square metres in area, the Lac Tinh garden was created in 1889 by the poet Hong Khang. It has a cool, calm ambiance. A symmetrical arrangement of two rows of hibiscuses, roses, laurel and ochna atropurpurea run alongside the path leading to the house. Under the trees are small tables and chairs for enjoying the view and drinking tea and at the end of the path, a stylised book-shaped latticework wind-screen reduces the separation between the house and its surrounding as well as shielding it from prying eyes and ‘bad’ winds.
There are actually four houses adjacent to each other in the Lac Tinh garden, each with its own name connected to the owner.
The Nhan Hau (Benevolent) house is used for receiving guests, enjoying the moon and flowers and distributing relief for the poor. It uses an open design of parterres and bonsais to define the area around the house instead of walls.
The Hy Tran Trai house is located in the middle of the garden and maintains the conventions of classic Vietnamese architecture. The main bay has fifty-nine iron wood columns supporting the flat tiled roof, and the rafters are carved with images of dragons, Chinese characters and so on.
The Van Trai house is a place for working and relaxing, and the Di Tam Thich The Duong house is for studying and accommodation for the families’ children.
The architecture and arrangement of the decoration and features give all four houses an ancient appearance and a strong impression of elegance and refinement. They seem to encourage lightness of step and softness of voice, and a desire for a gentler, more cultured lifestyle.