Open Rhythms

Generated from the existing structure and climate-oriented semi-open living spaces, Pho da Cafe holds different rhythms together with the organization of open and enclosed areas as well as with the repeated wooden structures

Located in Lagi, a coastal town in central Vietnam, with diverse tropical terrain consisting of mountains, forests, rivers and sandy beaches. The project is the initial phase of renovation for an existing local restaurant.

The owner has limited budget, so we expect a slow renovation process with multiple stages to completion and expected gaps in between while his business must stay operational. This demand requires slow, natural transitions that sustain as the business grows. Therefore, we envision the first phase harmoniously blends with its natural surroundings and existing construction made from bricks and cement. The new space should feel modern yet inviting to the current users.

pho da cafe
relationship of open and enclosed spaces

With this approach, we created a functional, open space for a cafe that is also intimate with nature. We choose to make the roof light and inexpensive by using a modest steel structure. The main support system replicates the familiar wood frame observable at the current restaurant, keeping harmonious rhythms between the new and the old, between the open and the enclosed spaces.

Inspired by the colors and forms of the nearby dam, and riverbed rocks, we keep the roof, floor, and walls neutral and let the wood elements be featured intermittently through the space. It provides the guests with the usual comforts yet does not take away their intimate connection with nature.


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