A free-wheeling architectural exploration of surrealism, Hang Nga Crazy House defies definition. Joyously designed, outrageously artistic, this private home is a monument to the creative potential of concrete, with sculptured rooms connected by super-slim bridges and an excess of cascading lava-flow-like shapes. Think Gaudi on acid.
Wander around as you please; getting lost is definitely part of the experience.
The brainchild of owner Mrs Dang Viet Nga, the Crazy House has been an imaginative work in progress since 1990. Hang Nga, as she’s known locally, has a PhD in architecture from Moscow and has designed a number of other buildings around Dalat. One of her earlier masterpieces, the ‘House with 100 Roofs’, was torn down as a fire hazard because the People’s Committee thought it looked antisocialist.
Hang Nga started the Crazy House project to entice people back to nature, and though it’s becoming more outlandish every year, she’s not likely to have any more trouble with the authorities. Her father, Truong Chinh, was Ho Chi Minh’s successor, serving as Vietnam’s second president from 1981 until his death in 1988. There’s a shrine to him in the ground-floor lounge.
A note of caution for those with young kids: the Crazy House’s maze of precarious tunnels, walkways and ladders are certainly not child safe. Be extra vigilant.