by Jerry ElengicalJul 08, 2021
Having previously designed a whirling nest of steel enclosing the second outlet of the September Café in a bustling neighbourhood of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnamese interior design practice Red5 studio has revealed another café design project by them. Completed in 2021, the Anh Coffee Roastery, described as a 'fluffy sanctuary' by the studio, is designed for 'a relatively new coffee brand in Vietnam, not yet defined by any design style'. The team at Red5 studio, led by architect Lai Chinh Truc, has put the spotlight on the building's facade design and entrance by creatively using the deep front setback of the site.
Looking at the two-storey building from the front, a fluid assembly composed of white metal grid is seen hovering on the upper floor. The front setback takes form of an open seating space spread in a linear arrangement. The space features a rust red colour expressed through the use of terracotta bricks on the flooring, walls, and seating. As per Red5 studio, the idea was to conjure in the minds of the visitors, "the scent of the basalt red land growing coffee on cloudy days". Communicating that sensorial imagery – "the feeling of being immersed in that floating place" – has been the primary inspiration, both in terms of the materiality and spatial design.
The terracotta flooring continues inside the roastery and so does the wire mesh system, seen suspended from the ceiling. On the left is a long coffee bar with a backdrop sporting diverse ranges of coffees slotted within small niches. An interesting feature within the space is a long curving table meandering through the space. Connected with a few structural columns of the interior, the seating for this table is defined along its curve, and is sporadically punctuated by small leafy plants. The table's height varies with its flow and it defines seating in an eclectic arrangement. Throughout the space, pops of navy blue in furniture, lighting and accessories, add a certain drama to the otherwise homogenous palette and ties the space with the brand's signature colour.
The main circulation between the two floors is via an outdoor spiral staircase which is connected to the building’s façade and visible from the front. The first floor exterior walls are partially taken over by the curving white metal grid which further flows outwards to define the railing of the staircase. Inside, a cozy, biophilic design revealing recessed seating pockets is projected. The scale of the metal grid feature suspended from the roof is enhanced on this level. A small atrium takes form on this floor; its composition allows for planting trees between the floors and to provide lighting and views into the space below.
"By creating a "brick red" block with the gentle curves of the white mesh system, it is difficult to know that the status quo is just a rigid glass office block. The dramatic change in colours, shapes, and materials probably creates the highlight for Anh Coffee Roastery at first sight,” says the design team. “The curves from the large communal table on the ground floor to the iron grid throughout the building, combined with the straight red terracotta bricks, all blend to create a fluffy sanctuary.”