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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Coffee Shop
  4. Vietnam
  5. Vo Trong Nghia Architects
  6. 2013
  7. Kontum Indochine Café / Vo Trong Nghia Architects

Kontum Indochine Café / Vo Trong Nghia Architects

  • 01:00 - 27 June, 2013
Kontum Indochine Café / Vo Trong Nghia Architects
© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

© Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki © Hiroyuki Oki +20

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

From the architect. Kontum Indochine Café is designed as a part of a hotel complex along Dakbla River in Kontum City, Middle Vietnam. Adjacent to Dakbla Bridge, a gateway to Kontum City, the cafeteria serves as a breakfast, dinner and tea venue for hotel guests. It also functions as a semi-outdoor banquet hall for wedding ceremonies.


Located on a corner plot, the Café is composed of two major elements: a main building with a big horizontal roof made of bamboo structure and an annex kitchen made of concrete frames and stones.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

The main building has a rectangular plan surrounded by a shallow artificial lake.  All elevations are open to the air: the south facade faces the main street along Dakbla River, the east to the service street, the west to a restaurant and banquet building belonging to the hotel complex and the north to the annex kitchen which serves the Café. By providing shadow under the bamboo roof and maximizing the cool air flow across the water surface of the lake, the open-air indoor space successfully operates without using air conditioning even in a tropical climate. The roof is covered by fiber-reinforced plastic panels and thatch.  The translucent synthetic panels are partly exposed in the ceiling to provide natural light in the deep center of the space under the roof.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

The roof of the main building is supported by a pure bamboo structure composed of 15 inverse-cone-shaped units. The form of these columns was inspired by a traditional Vietnamese basket for fishing which gradually narrows from the top toward the base. This open structure maximizes the wind flow into the building during the summer, while resisting harsh storms during the windy season. From the Café, hotel guests can enjoy a great panoramic view of the mountains and Dakbla River framed by the bamboo arches. The bamboo columns create an inner lining giving the impression of being in a bamboo forest and show the continuity to the mountains as seen from the café.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

The challenge of the project is to respect the nature of bamboo as a material and to create a distinctive space unique to bamboo.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

The material characteristics of bamboo are different from that of timber or steel. If the details and construction methods of timber or steel structures are applied to bamboo structures, the advantages of bamboo may be impaired. For instance, using steel joints kill the cost benefit of bamboo structures. Steel pin joint generates too much local loads which is not appropriate for bamboo, which tends to be subject to buckling.

© Hiroyuki Oki
© Hiroyuki Oki

In this context, we use traditional treatment methods (soaking in mud and smoking out) for the treatment of bamboo, and we use low-tech joint details (ratten-tying and bamboo nails), which is suitable for bamboo structures. The columns at Kontum City are prefabricated before their erection to achieve the appropriate quality and accuracy. 

Floor Plan
Floor Plan
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Kontum Indochine Café / Vo Trong Nghia Architects" 27 Jun 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


emily · July 01, 2014

there have to be somethig in the columns.

robby · October 23, 2013

Bagus ya kayak rumah aceh

delon · October 23, 2013 06:23 AM

aceh dari Hongkong?

Qomar · October 23, 2013 06:21 AM

serius lu? rumah aceh dari Hongkong. Belajar lagi mas bro

Lee · July 02, 2013

steel structure was covered by bamboo. :). Nice decoration.

Tet vtn · July 16, 2013 06:51 PM
VAT · July 01, 2013

VO TRONG NGHIA ,ng??i ??a ki?n trúc VietNam lên môt t?m cao m?i

Tim Sylar · June 29, 2013

The columns are very special

robert edward cooper · June 28, 2013

very evocative

robert c · June 28, 2013

great atmosphere

Aga · June 28, 2013

it is so beautiful!

Croco Dile · June 28, 2013

A very nice idea !

Kevin Doan · June 28, 2013

The "columns" look heavy but it is nice coffeshop

Hong My · June 28, 2013

wow, stunning!!!! reflecting the image of bamboo in traditional Vietnamese village.
love it

Toan Le · June 29, 2013 10:05 PM

Agreed! He's still going forward!!!

ROS · June 29, 2013 09:39 PM

I agreed with you my friend :)


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