Principal Architects: Vo Trong Nghia, Nguyen Tat Dat Design Team: To Quang Cam, Le Hoang Tuyet Ngoc, Takahito Yamada
Status: Built in 05.2018 Program: Café Location: Vinh City, Nghe An Province Footprint: 438 sqm GFA: 687 sqm Bamboo Contractor: VTN Architects Photographs: Trieu Chien
Nocenco Café occupies the top two floors of an existing seven-storied concrete building located at the center of Vinh city. With this context, the building already offered great views to the townscape: magnificent forest, river, and various old buildings.
Most buildings in the area, however, still followed the pseudo-classical style originated from the Vietnam War, including the client’s property. Rather than redesigning the façade, the client asked for a unique and charming extension that could transform the concrete building into a new icon of the city.
The challenge was to create not only a visually impactful structure on a high level but also a harmonious connection between the new design and the existing one. Having been well-experienced with the material, VTN Architects expected high efficiency in time and cost of construction when decided to pursue a design made from bamboo. Bamboo is an extremely light material and particularly suitable for the project. Bamboo beams could be prefabricated, lifted by a few workers and easily transported to the highest floor by a crane.
From the streets, pedestrians could recognize the uniqueness of the café as two curved bamboo ceilings were stacked on top of each other. On the first floor of the café, ten bamboo columns were installed to hide the existing structure and another four additional columns to fill the space and divide it into different private areas.
The cave-like space can never be experienced in its totality, but every place has a view of the surrounding city. The rectangular volumes connect the two vault bamboo structures, generating a framed view of the historical stadium and the beautiful cityscape.
The enormous dome structure located on the top floor of a concrete building becomes a focal point of the city, accommodating charming gathering space for inhabitants and visitors of Vinh city.