Long An, located in the picturesque Mekong Delta region of southern Vietnam, boasts of a strategic position in the Southern Key Economic Region. It serves as a vital connection between the bustling Ho Chi Minh City to the north and the 12 vibrant provinces of the Mekong Delta to the south. Beyond its breathtaking natural landscapes, Long An is also renowned for its significant contribution to the region's history, with a rich heritage dating back to the Oc Eo culture. The province's untouched beauty and cultural significance make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique and enriching experience.

“A Historical and Traditional Consideration towards a Contemporary Interpretation”

Drawing inspiration from the rustic charm of Long An and its rich history of single-story pitch roof houses made of clay tiles and bricks, often organized around courtyards, the museum's design reflects the province's arts and crafts in its structural built-up, paying great attention to every detail and materiality. The design vision captures the essence of the local tradition while infusing a contemporary feel to it.

The building's roof geometry is carefully sculpted to allow the right amount of light to filter into the museum and library areas. The sculpted roof connects the museum and library and provides a shaded area on hot summer days while also protecting visitors from rain. Meanwhile, the central courtyard serves as a cohesive element that unites the entire structure.

In keeping with the local heritage, the building’s material is a celebration of Long An's brick, roof tile, and concrete architecture, which have been re-interpreted to create a fresh, innovative expression. The result is a stunning museum that stands as a testament to Long An's rich history and artistic legacy.


The Long An Museum and Library is an architectural masterpiece comprising a series of indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces that showcase the diverse aspects of Long An's nature, history, culture, and a range of thematic galleries and gardens that offer a holistic experience to visitors.

In addition to the public museum areas, the building complex features service & storage facilities that provide crucial support to the museum's operations. The standalone buildings housing each component of the museum program are strategically placed around the central courtyard, creating a harmonious and functional layout.

More than just a place to exhibit artifacts, the museum serves as a community space, inviting locals to explore and appreciate the outdoor garden areas protected by the central courtyard. The thoughtful design and inviting atmosphere of the Long An Museum and Library make it a cultural and architectural landmark in the region.


The outdoor-themed garden is a stunning testament to the region's beauty and diversity. The garden's landscape design is a harmonious blend of thematic historical, nature, cultural, and architectural gardens, interwoven with green, lush, and playful areas that cater to people of all ages.

Inspired by the surrounding natural wetland conditions, the garden offers a plethora of outdoor program elements that allow visitors to immerse themselves in the region's history and culture. From archeology and military artifacts to local agricultural product displays and stands serving up delicious local cuisine, visitors can experience the best of Long An's rich agricultural heritage. The garden also features a diverse range of wetland plant species, traditional arts and crafts such as basket weaving, drum sealing, and stunning art sculptures, along with music and various folk games for all ages.

The outdoor area also boasts architectural traditional buildings that serve as living relics, giving visitors an opportunity to experience ancient and communal houses. The central courtyard area provides a flexible space for programming live music concerts or cultural performances, creating an unforgettable experience for visitors.


The library is a bibliophile's dream, featuring an extensive selection of books, media rooms, and a range of reading spaces, both open and enclosed.

The central spiral floor plates create a stunning visual display as visitors are led through the library book collection, multimedia spaces, and reading areas. The clever design ensures that every inch of the library is utilized efficiently, providing visitors with a seamless experience. The top floor is home to a themed library café, where visitors can meet and discuss their favorite books over a delicious cup of coffee.

The library's interior design is a beautiful celebration of traditional materials such as bricks, which are used on both floors and walls. This connection between the building's exterior and interior design creates a cohesive look that adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of the space. It is a cultural and architectural landmark in the region, and a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to experience the best of Long An's history, culture, and literature.


One of the key features of the project, the discovery path is a unique feature that takes visitors on a captivating journey through a sequence of museum exhibition spaces and outdoor experiences. As visitors embark on this path, they are treated to stunning views of the surrounding landscape and the vibrant cultural history of Long An.

The journey begins in the ground-floor courtyard gardens, where visitors are surrounded by lush greenery and playful areas for everyone to enjoy. From there, the path leads visitors upwards, culminating in a breathtaking view deck platform on the roof. Here, visitors can capture lasting memories with friends and loved ones, taking in the panoramic views of Long An while snapping pictures and selfies.

The discovery path is a testament to the Long An Museum and Library's commitment to providing visitors with an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of this beautiful region.



Project Type: Museum and Library
Location: Long An, Vietnam
GFA: 7,800m2
Number of floors: 5
Status: Design Completed

Architecture Design: Van Aelst I Nguyen and Partners (VA.NG)
Architecture Design Team: Steve Van Aelst, Ngoc Tran Ho Thanh, Anna Reznik , Thien Le, Diego Linares, Khiem Huynh, Vi Pham Thuy Tuong, Tan Bui, Quoc Pham Thach, Ngo Trung Hai
Landscape Design: Omgeving (OMG)
Landscape Design Team: Steven Petit, Phuong Thuy, Ngoc Le, Quoc Thang Trinh, Huy Nguyen

Long An Museum and Library by Steve Van Aelst in Vietnam won the WA Award Cycle 44. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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