In-depth
Old French villas to be preserved
  • By Quang Phong | dtinews.vn | August 10, 2012 04:39 PM

The city of Hanoi has been encouraging investors to restore old French villas, many of which are owned by multiple families, to turn them into singly-owned properties.

 

French houses on Ly Thuong Kiet Street 

Hoang Tu, Chief of Division 61, under Department of Construction, said there are 1,586 old French villas in the city, but most are in a state of deterioration, adding that 562 belong to individuals, 1024 are owned by the state and 42 villas in Ba Dinh political center are publicly-owned and cannot be bought by individuals.

"Many villas are badly damaged. Because some of them are home to as many as 30 families, the quality of life there is low," he said.

In order to preserve these villas, the authorities have made four categories in which to place them.

Villas belong to type one are those which have special cultural value for either their architecture and history. These homes are large and located in high-value areas of the city. Many of them have their original gardens intact.

The second category includes those which have some vestige of their original architecture, but have been largely modified or severely weathered over the years.

Tu said, "There has been a ban placed on destroying homes which fall under the first two categories because these properties have been slated for restoration."

Villas in the third category are also considered to have architectural value, but have been encroached or largely rebuilt. The fourth category includes old homes that have been partially destroyed. These villas will be considered for rebuilding. However, those that are attached or adjacent to culturally important areas will need permission from the Department of Culture, Sport and Tourism and the Department of Planning and Architecture for further work.

Local authorities encourage people to limit the number of families who live in one villa, with the hopes that the homes will be sold to individual owners if possible. The municipality also offers incentives to individuals and organizations to restore such properties.

Families currently living in damaged villas owned by the State will be relocated while renovation work is conducted.

Tu further explained that some investors have bought villas that house numerous families, but there are outstanding issues on renovation work because the properties share common land with the State. "A new resolution will be drafted to address these issues," he said.

 

A villa on Mai Hac De Street

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