Designed by o9 Design Studio in Vietnam, Chi-Bu Resort is located on the banks of the Ong Keo River, 30km outside of Saigon. The expansive 2000sqm site was designed to afford visitors space to decompress and regenerate - in lush surroundings a world away from the neighbouring urban zones.
It encompasses seven bungalows overlooking the river and wild gardens, a riverfront restaurant/bar, and freshwater swimming pool.
The bungalows are designed to harvest the abundant natural light and distribute it evenly around the rooms. Symbiosis with the verdant landscape is achieved through dismantling distinctions between exterior and interior spaces, generating a sense of boundlessness increasingly hard to come by in the breakneck verticality of the city.
Broad, hinged patio doors fully open to extend the rooms to the river’s edge, without reducing floorspace. Traditional bamboo ladders invite you to take a dip in the secluded stretch of river. Outdoor shower rooms host tropical plant beds, the foliage framed by internal bedroom windows. High ceilings maximise daylight and fresh air circulation from the river breeze.
Building materials are locally sourced and thoughtfully crafted fusing traditional techniques with leading edge design philosophies. The restaurant features a soaring pyramidal ceiling, covered with handcrafted shichito matgrass panels and punctuated by ornate palm leaf blade ceiling fans. Handmade tiles employ striking geometric motifs responding to traditional rattan weaving patterns of the Mekong. The roofs are locally thatched using coconut palm leaves. Furniture, windows, shutters, door frames and joinery were all custom-designed by the design studio, and fabricated with native wood, bamboo and rattan by local artisans. The overarching concepts of clarity, comfort and expansiveness are accentuated in the thoughtful choices of furnishings and fittings.
The affinity between untamed landscape and architectural design forges a haven where nature is sacrosanct, with human experience built in homage to it.