Hommel Beer Factory
BIA HOI CULTURE'S ORIGIN: FROM A COLONICAL DRINKING TO A CULTURE OF URBAN DWELLERS
Before the French colonization, Vietnam had a long history of rice alcohol production. The beer industry was created in 1892 by Alfred Hommel, founder of Hommel Brewery (Brasserie Hommel) in Hanoi. Along with the Larue Brewery (Brasserie Larue) in Saigon, the Hommel Brewery was one of the two biggest breweries in Indochina.
Beer was the drink that seemed most suitable in the Indochina climate. At first, beer was mainly consumed by the French, then it became more and more popular with local Vietnamese people.
Besides water, the ingredients used by the Hommel Brewery were malted barley and hops imported from Europe and a proportion of rice (preferably denitrogenated). The difficulty was not in the purchase of ingredients of first quality, but in purifying water used, acquiring expensive brewing equipment, and adapting it to the hot and humid climate of Hanoi. Another challenge for the production of bottled beer was transportation. The brewery came up with the idea of producing a draft beer called bia hoi sold in kegs instead of bottles. Over time, bia hoi became a staple of Vietnamese culture and it remains so to this day.
Name: Brasserie Hommel / Société de la Brasserie Hommel / Société des Brasseries et Glacières de l'Indochine / Hanoi Brewery / Hanoi Brewery Company / Hanoi Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Habeco)
Location: 183 Hoang Hoa Tham, Ha Noi
Architectural and Urban preliminary assessment
Perspective / Thematic / Narrative point of view
MAI Hung Trung // Initiator of Hanoi Ad Hoc
Paris-based architect, initiator of Hanoi Ad Hoc, founder of atelier M32. Graduated with honor from ENSA Paris Malaquais, France, and Leibniz Universitat Hannover, Germany, Trung has always been fascinated by the urban chaos and banalities that he considered as indispensable catalysts intriguing fundamental urban changes. His works focus on devising urban renewal strategies for post-industrial contexts and defining modern vernacular architecture and urban patterns. His investigation fields range from rural villages in Vietnam to European shrinking cities and hinterlands.
Trung is the recipient and nominee of numerous international awards and competitions including Europan 16 Italy/ Living cities, Italy, Europan 15 / Productive City 2, France, IBA'27 Backnang West, Stuttgart, Germany, World Architectural Festival 2018, ASA International Competition 2015 Density/dense city; Thailand. In 2018, Trung was selected by the Vietnamese government as one of the hundred young pioneers and a member of the Vietnam Innovation Network.
Prof. Christina SCHWENKEL // University of California, Riverside, US
Christina Schwenkel is a professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside and former director of the programme in Southeast Asian Studies (SEATRiP). She is co-editor of the Journal of Vietnamese Studies and author of the recent book, Building Socialism: The Afterlife of East German Architecture in Urban Vietnam (Duke University Press, 2020). Christina has conducted extensive ethnographic research in Vietnam on global technology transfers and postwar reconstruction of urban infrastructure. Her first book, The American War in Contemporary Vietnam: Transnational Remembrance and Representation (Indiana UNiversity Press 2009), examines historical knowledge production and the geopolitics of commemoration. Her more recent publications have focused on Cold War technopolitics and socialist circulations of urban planning knowledge and architectural models between Vietnam and East Germany. https://christinaschwenkel.com
LE Duc // CO-NX, University of Greenwich, UK
Duc is a registered architect and independent researcher in London. Graduated from the Manchester School of Architecture and the Architectural Association (AA), Duc has been involved with a wide range of architectural projects in Vietnam, Russia and the United Kingdom. He is an associate lecturer and unit design master at the school of Design, University of Greenwich, having previously served as a course tutor at Oxford Brookes University in 2019/2020 and the Architectural Association Visiting School Tropicality in 2016. He is also a regular visiting critic at several architectural schools in the UK and a contributor to the Plakat research platform.
Duc engages architecture through both practice and theory. Duc is currently interested in historiography and the critique of Vietnamese Architectural modernism in the 20th century and recently founded the Grids of Vietnamese Modernism research initiative.
VO Kim Ylan // Designer, Researcher
Ylan Vo is a designer and researcher focused on the relationship between human and natural systems. Her recent investigations concern post-conflict landscapes in Huế, Vietnam, where she is a member of GreenCityLabHuế, a project of the BMBF Research for Sustainable Development Programme (FONA), and Site and Space in Southeast Asia, with major funding through the Getty Foundation’s Connecting Art Histories Initiative.
Ylan earned her Master of Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. She also holds a BA in History of Art and Architecture from Brown University. Ylan is the winner of the 2015 Deborah J. Norden Fund travel grant and a 2017 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist.
Danielle LABBÉ // Université de Montréal // Former co-leading Hanoi Ad hoc, CA
Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Urbanization in the Global South
Danielle Labbé is a trained architect and associate professor of urban planning at the Université de Montréal (Canada) where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Urbanisation in the Global South. Her research focuses on the inter-relations between the production and appropriation of urban space in Hanoi. She uses a combination of historical, process-oriented and social agency perspectives to explore the encounters between state intentions, governing practices, and everyday life during the urbanisation process. While primarily focused on Vietnam, her research contributes to theoretical debates about state-society relations, urban governance and regulatory informality in the fields of urban planning, human geography and urban anthropology.
Prof. Sylvie FANCHETTE //
Director of Research at IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement ), FR
PhD in Geography from Paris 8 University, Prof. Sylvie Fanchette is authorised to supervise research. She has been conducting research at the IRD since 1993 and is a member of UMR Ceped. Her main research interests are the urbanisation process in densely populated rural areas and the conditions of population densification in the Nile and Red River Deltas. In Vietnam, she studies rural industrialisation and the peri-urbanisation process in the context of the Vietnamese capital's metropolisation. She is the author of “Hanoi, a metropolis in the making” and “Discovering craft villages in Vietnam”.
Mila ROSENTHAL // Educator and advocate for human rights,
human development and healthy planet, US
Mila Rosenthal is an educator and advocate for human rights, human development, and a healthy planet. Her interest in rights and development is rooted in her experience in Vietnam undertaking ethnographic research on industrial work after the đổi mới economic opening. She comes to Hanoi Ad Hoc with immense gratitude to the women workers at the March 8th Textile Factory who for two years generously shared with her their lives and labor, which she documented for her PhD in social anthropology from the London School of Economics.
Now based in New York City, along with her academic engagement teaching economic and social rights at Columbia University, she has held leadership roles in mission-driven international organizations. She manages research and advocacy at Sustainable Partners, Inc; most recently ran communications for the United Nations Development Programme; and before that led people and programs at Amnesty International, HealthRight International, and Concern Worldwide.
An architect and urban planner working in Hanoi since 2012 as the director of the cooperation programme between Ile-de-France region (Paris Region) and the Hanoi people's committee (PRX-Vietnam). This programme acts as a technical assistance to different departments of Hanoi, such as the Hanoi urban planning institute, Hanoi department of tourism, Hoan Kiem district, as well as the Hanoi department of environment, or department of planning and investment. Emmanuel Cerise organises training sessions on green planning, environmental planning, urban renewal, heritage preservation and waste and water management. He assists technical departments with satellite and eco towns planning, heritage survey, public space design and environmental policy audit. In parallel to his work, he is also involved in academic teaching and researching. Emmanuel is a researcher associated with IPRAUS (Paris Research Institute: Architectures, Urbanism, Society, AUSser n°3329 CNRS) and participates in teaching and workshops with Paris-Belleville school of Architecture and Hanoi University of Architecture.
His first time in Hanoi was in 1997 for a student urban design competition, having graduated from the Nancy School of Architecture as an architect, from Paris 8 university with a PhD thesis titled: “Hanoi, the making of the city between planning and living practices” (“Hanoi - La fabrication de la ville, entre planification et pratiques habitants”). His research topics are: housing (production, reception and transformation), urban history and cartography of Southeast Asian cities.
Emmanuel CERISE // Director PRX Vietnam, VN
NGUYEN Manh Tri // National University of Civil Engineering, VN
Graduated from Hanoi Architecture University, Nguyen Manh Tri gained a Master’s degree in Architecture from Laval University (Quebec, Canada). He is also a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Theory and history of architecture, faculty of Architecture and Planning, National University of Civil Engineering (Hanoi, Vietnam). His major research interest focuses on the history of modern architecture, especially postcolonial architecture and the localisation of Modernism architecture in Vietnam.
Michal TEAGUE // RMIT University Vietnam //
Associate Lecturer, Design Studies Program, School of Communication & Design
Michal Teague is an Associate Lecturer in Design Studies program at the Hanoi Campus of RMIT University. She has produced multiple cultural events and exhibitions for the "Vietnam Festival of Creativity and Design: Hanoi” from 2019 to 2021. For the past 10 years, Teague has worked professionally as a transnational practitioner and educator in public art, design and communication in the Middle East and Vietnam. She holds a Master of Art in Public Space from RMIT University Melbourne. Prior to becoming an educator, she was director of a graphic design agency in Sydney, Australia for over 10 years. Her areas of research interest and creative praxis are social and strategic design, the creative and cultural industries, urban spaces and their ecosystems, and transnational design pedagogy. Currently, Teague is a co-investigator of a team conducting research on how digitization can be improved in cultural heritage institutions in Hanoi, to ensure Covid-recovery through building capacity in human and technical resources, to futureproof the cultural sector.