Believing that art is not something frozen in frames, but an act of living, D1 Architectural Studio created the Piece of Drink Bistro in hope that when coming to this place, guests will be able to apprehend a very simple but delicate aesthetic, and feel a deep connection between the soul and nature. PIECE OF DRINK space is not just bricks, rocks and sands, but rather an unique emotional experience.

Located in the alley at 10 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, the cafe captures the attention of viewers with an impressive stone fence that covers the whole space. The fence is constructed by stacking layers of stone atop one another to form a 'leaf system' that relieves the heat of the scorching sun from the west direction, and at the same time circulates air around the building. The stone fence is also very useful in soundproofing, so that in the midst of the city bustling with countless noises, guests would find Piece Of Drink an inviting, peaceful oasis.

And just like an oasis, Piece Of Drink connects its inhabitants with nature. Upon entering the shop, it is easy to see that the space is laden with rocks - big rocks, small rocks, rough and jagged with the traces of time. The rocks are not here for the purpose of decoration but serve as subjects for contemplation. Rocks and plants, like wind and water, the nature around us - none of them speak human language, they do not know how to ask questions, do not know how to give us advice. But when we put our hands on the surface of a rock, strangely we can feel peace seeping into our hearts.

The interior space of Piece Of Drink emphasizes service experience, with the counter situated in a central position so that staffs can observe and serve guests promptly. There is a sense of meticulous attention to detail - from the softness of the chair cushions, the flower vase on the table, the aroma of the café, to the volume of the music.… the walls are clad in ceramic tiles with the wavy pattern facing outwards, to absorb the noise, maintaining the sense of peace.

Decorating the walls Piece Of Drink are images of the installation artworks donated to the shop by artist Uu Dam Tran Nguyen. These are works in the series “Serpent’s Tails” by the artist, which was showcased in the eighth Asia Pacific Triennial exhibition in Brisbane, Australia in April 2016.

Using a very common material - plastic bags filled with exhaust gas - the author recreated the exact feeling of drowning under the whirlwind of exhaust streams from hundreds of motorbikes that encircle us whenever we stop at any intersection. The project warns urban residents about the potential dangers of environmental pollution, and encourages us to think more deeply, in order to live more reflectively.

Living mindfully and reflectively is one of the ideas D1 Architectural Studio wants to convey through Piece of Drink design. With just a simple act of looking up at our own image on the ceiling, each of us can have an inspiration to contemplate about the self, about our own identity and the persona that the world wants us to play.



Project: Renovation
Category: Cafe & Bistro
Completion: 2021
Gross Floor Area: 270m2
Address: 10D1 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street, Da Kao Ward, Ho Chi Minh City

Lead architect: Tan Nguyen
Lead interior designer: Oanh Vu
Photo by Quang Tran