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
[Tien Bo Printing Factory] Materializing ideologies
When the first Western printing house was opened in Vietnam, it also started the extension of national publication through the printed words and promoted the Vietnamese alphabet to outdate Sino-Vietnamese characters. With the rising trend of modern technology, a nationalist Nguyen Van Vinh co-founded Trung Bac tan van, the first daily newspaper and turned it into one of the largest circulation in colonial Vietnam with the intention to educate Vietnamese people. Based on this foundation, the Communist party of Vietnam established the Tien Bo printing factory after buying Trung Bac tan van printing house in 1946. With the mission of printing revolutionary newspapers and government materials, it was given a nickname “the fortress of socialist culture” with the idea that printing and publication are the protection of comunist ideology. Nowadays, Tien Bo company moved all their production to suburban area, Ninh Hiep and the old fortress was demolished and replaced with a new modern futuristic building, Tien Bo plaza.