This time we will travel to Vietnam! This amazing cafe-restaurant is part of Kontrum Indochine Hotel and functions as the restaurant and banqueting hall for it. Referencing the shapes of typical Vietnamese fishing baskets, the top-heavy bamboo structures form a grid between the tables of the open-air dining room creating an almost natural space that makes you think you are in a bamboo forest.
It is designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects in the centre of Vietnam. It has no walls, allowing uninterrupted views across the surrounding shallow pools of water, and beyond that towards the neighbouring river and distant mountains.
Fifteen conical bamboo columns support the roof of this waterside cafe. The roof of the structure is clad with bamboo but also contains layers of thatch and fibre-reinforced plastic. In some places the plastic panels are exposed, allowing natural light to permeate the canopy.
All of the fixings for the columns are made from bamboo rather than steel and were constructed using traditional techniques, such as smoke-drying and the use of bamboo nails.
The most amazing characteristic is that it has natural air flow that keeps the space cool. There’s no air conditioning, but the architects explain that the surrounding waters and the shade of the overhanging roof help to keep the space cool, even in the hottest seasons.
“By providing shadow under the bamboo roof and maximising the cool air flow across the water surface of the lake, the open-air indoor space successfully operates without using air conditioning,” they say.
Photography is by Hiroyuki Oki.