Here is a naturally spiritual, contemplative space designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, where there are no internal linings, no ceilings, the beauty of the natural structure is the final finish.
The form of these columns was inspired by a traditional Vietnamese fishing baskets. This open structure , maximises the wind flow, with air being naturally cooled as it passes over the surrounding ponds. The other benefit of the pools is that it mirrors the structure, doubling the visual impact and enhancing the drama of the façade-less structure on approach.
Kontum Indochine Cafe is sculptural folly of a structure, creating shelter without walls, adjacent the Banquet Hall of the Kontum Hotel on Dakbla River in Kontum City, Central Vietnam. The simple repetition of the large conical “columns” reminds me of a gothic church crypt or a mosque.
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. It was completed in January 2013 and covers 550 square metres.
All of the fixings for the columns are made from bamboo rather than steel, and were constructed using traditional techniques of smoke-drying with low-tech joint details (rattan-tying and bamboo nails).
The choice of furniture is disappointing. It would be nice to see something more contemporary, contrasting and sculptural. Something more grounding for this top heavy structure. I would love to see this at night. It is like a very earthy version of previously reviewed, pavilion like structure, The Magazine.
Section explaining structure.
Above is another building, the Dailai Conference hall by the same architects with a fortified front stone wall and bamboo structure beyond. See more here.
Stay tuned for part II
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Photography by Hiroyuki Oki