Carpenter owns “museum” of old homes
VietNamNet Bridge – A man in central Quang Nam Province has spent the last 20 years collecting and preserving old and unique houses from across the country, gathering them on his land.
Le Van Tang’s property in Dien Minh Commune, Dien Ban District is recognised by many artists and researchers as the most unique house “museum” in the country.
The plot, which covers over 11,000 square metres of land, is home to many special houses with unique architecture which modern machines could not create.
“I feel deeply sad whenever I see old houses with unique architecture decaying as owners lack funds for restoration, so I decided to buy these houses for preservation. Sometimes, I have to buy the owner a new house in exchange for the old house,” Tang said.
Collection of old and unique houses in Vietnam.
It took him and his son several years to persuade the owner of a kingpost-designed house to hand over it. The house has 108 pillars and is said to be over 200 years old.
Tang also spent four years persuading the owner of a 102-year-old bamboo house, the oldest of its kind in Vietnam, to hand over it for preservation.
His collection includes many types of houses from across the country, such as a three-compartment, two-wing house by Ton That Dam, a former mandarin from Hue, a typical house from central Quang Tri Province, and one-compartment, two-wing house from Quang Binh and Binh Dinh provinces, hexagon-shaped and quadrangular-shaped houses from the Southeastern region, three-compartment, two-wing houses in the northern region, and traditional upstairs in the northern region.
An overview of the “museum”.
He started house restoration in 1997 with a crew of ten carpenters. Now his carpenter shop has become famous locally for old home restoration. To date they have restored over 1,000 traditional houses and tens of thousands of wooden sculptures.
He has passed his passion for restoring old home on to his son. Tang and his son also own a 3,851-square-metre fine arts complex in Dien Duong Commune, in the same district.
They have built a 3,000-square metre area for traditional crafts, where more than 300 craftsmen from the two craft villages of Van Ha and Kim Bong in Quang Nam Province gather.
They hope that their preservation efforts will be appreciated by both local and foreign visitors in the future.