This renovation project includes a café on the last floor and the roof top of a 7th floor middle-rise concrete building located in the city center of Vinh city in the middle north of Vietnam.

From these levels one has a great view over the surrounding low-rise houses, towards the river, magnificent forest scape and various aged buildings.

The buildings in this area were damaged by the Vietnam War. Most of them were also renovated with colonial style façades inspired by European designs.
Nowadays, regardless of their height, some of the buildings still imitated this kind of the façade style.

The client required not to change the envelope of the existing building, but create a unique and attractive addition that changes this building into an icon of the city.

The challenge was to create an impact on the building by inserting a new structure with unique and local material.

After studying several local materials such as brick, stone, etc we chose bamboo to work with. Through our experience, we know bamboo is easily to access in this tropical climate which reduces construction time and budget.
The essence of using bamboo in this project is “lightness”. As bamboo which can be lifted up by a few workers and easily transport to the highest floor by a crane.

In addition, it is possible to install the bamboo structure without any additional structural support.

For the 7F (top floor), we covered the existing concrete structure with bamboo material, it converted into an element that creates spatial qualities. Because the ceiling is covered with bamboo as well, pedestrians in the city can recognize the space from the street.

There are 10 bamboo columns to hide the existing structure and 4 additional columns. These columns elegantly divide the space into diffrent private areas.
The cave-like space can never be experienced in its totality, but every place has a view to the surrounding city.

The enormous dome structure on the roof, which can be recognized from any place in the city, a roof top club is created as a gathering space for all the inhabitants of Vinh city.

The dome and rectangular volumes on the rooftop fit in the existing L-shaped space. The rectangular volumes generate a framed view on the historical stadium and the beautiful cityscape. Moreover, it connects 2 vault bamboo structures, that open up to the cityscape.



Typical trees for construction industry need at least ten years to reach economic
maturity. Due to the rapid growing ability, excellent CO2 absorbability, characteristic mechanical strength, and exceptionally lightweight; bamboo is competitive with any other structural materials.
Bamboo is available everywhere in the world. Bamboo is common
and affordable in those developing countries. Bamboo is ideal material to create open spaces in tropical climates. Bamboo is bendable and thermoplastic, the structure obtains
unique shape and beauty in various typologies. Consequently, a bundle
of bamboos becomes viscoelastic and is able to span large areas. With proper
treatments —soaking in mud and smoking— bamboo becomes durable and suitable
for permanent buildings.

Principal Architects: Vo Trong Nghia, Nguyen Tat Dat
Design team: To Quang Cam, Le Hoang Tuyet Ngoc, Takahito Yamada

Nocenco Cafe by VTN Architects (Vo Trong Nghia Architects) in Vietnam won the WA Award Cycle 36. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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