The assembly halls in Hoi An were built to serve the Chinese community. The halls not only incorporate Chinese religious and architectural elements conforming to the principles of feng shui, but also integrate architectural and stylistic elements from Vietnamese traditional buildings. While having similar functions to communal houses, assembly halls have traditionally served as places where trade negotiations happened.
Communal buildings serve as both religious and cultural centers for Hoi An Vietnamese and Vietnamese – Chinese communities. Communal buildings are the main place social and cultural interaction among clan members and people from the same village happens. They are used as meeting halls or gathering places to celebrate festivals and other special events. Hoi An’ s communal buildings are still in use today.
Family chapels are detached buildings erect on a square lot, usually located in small alleys and set back from the street. The lots are enclosed by fences and there are large gardens in front of the main buildings, with eaves on all sides. Often, a separate residential building is located at one side of the lot. Family chapels are primarily used for ancestral worship, as well as for teaching the younger generations the ways of paying respect to their ancestors. Family chapels are symbols of strong ties among clan members.