Away from the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City center, Ippudo Vietnam is located at District 7, which is 8km to the South. This is the first branch of a Japanese ramen restaurant, and it is sited in an emerging housing development. Adjacent to a pool that is public-accessible, this is a renovation project in which an existing 8m-high two-story steel structure building with an area of 540m2 to be converted to a restaurant with a semi-outdoor space.
▼项目概览，project overall view © Hiroyuki Oki
The existing surroundings present an opportunity to create an eventful dining space. Greenery and wooden chopsticks are used as screens to provide privacy for the users yet offer and enhance the viewing experience from the dining space. This is aimed to create a multi-layered and memorable space.
explode axonometric analysis drawing © Takashi Niwa Architects
Suburbs more uniform than generic city
The site location, District 7 is an emerging residential area that has been developed by foreign developers. The rapid and monotonous city development with its high-rise residential and commercial buildings resulted in a lack of consideration with its surroundings. Due to the lack of attention to human and pedestrian needs, people often feel out of place within this development.
in the high-rise development zone, the restaurant becomes an amiable social place © Takashi Niwa Architects
Alleys with strong sense of community are commonly found in Vietnam. It is called “hem”. It has been the core of the formation of local community. Typically, buildings are designed to connect directly to the “hem”. It is often the social setting where activities and interaction take place. It is a tradition in Vietnam where families and local community have meals together. This is where a strong sense of community is formed. In order to prepare such dining space in a new city area in Vietnam, the appropriate strategy to support this tradition is the main theme to the design approach.
▼餐厅主入口，main entrance of the project © Hiroyuki Oki
Overlaying landscapes, screens and activities
Since this restaurant is located in a tropical climate region, the focus is to utilise the power of plants. By using greenery, a multi-layered landscape is created by overlapping multiple green screens. The in-between space then becomes the dining space. The purpose is to enhance and humanize the spacious semi-outdoor space. Green screen is considered an appropriate material as it features low heat radiation, as well as the aesthetics itself. The guests are greeted by the pool and undulating planters upon arrival. The planters are made of exposed recycled bricks. The dining floor gradually descends towards the pool. This is to include the pool as part of the design consideration while being gently carved by the overlapping greenery.
guests are greeted by the pool and undulating planters upon arrival © Hiroyuki Oki
▼景观池由裸露的再生砖围合而成，planters are made of exposed recycled bricks © Hiroyuki Oki
The arc-shaped counter facing the main kitchen extends outwards to form a higher platform level, which acts as the entrance to the second floor. The non-linear of the landscape further enhance the spatial depth of the dining area while providing privacy to the guests.
▼弧形的柜台面向主厨房，并向外延伸出一个较高的平台， arc-shaped counter facing the main kitchen extends outwards to form a higher platform level © Hiroyuki Oki
▼平台同时作为二层的主入口，platform acts as the entrance to the second floor © Hiroyuki Oki
Local made wooden chopstick screen as signature of the space
Screens made by wooden chopsticks are designed to connect the local culture with the landscape screens. This locally-made natural material is aimed to express and embrace Vietnamese craftsmanship.
▼木筷制成的屏风示意图，scheme of the screens made by wooden chopsticks © Takashi Niwa Architects
During the night, the chopstick screens create a unique rhythmic façade appearance while complementing the greenery landscape during the daytime. The screen panels feature a curtain-like opening, in which they provide privacy when seated. The frames then gradually rotate at the human eye-level when standing to provide view-out to the guests.
▼木筷屏风为建筑立面营造出独特的节奏感，the chopstick screens create a unique rhythmic façade appearance © Hiroyuki Oki
▼屏风的骨架于视平线以上逐渐旋转，从而创造出良好的景观视野， The frames then gradually rotate at the human eye-level to provide view-out © Hiroyuki Oki
▼屏风为客人营造了私密空间，the chopstick screens provide privacy for the guests © Hiroyuki Oki
These multi-layered screens of green and wooden chopsticks celebrate human activity in between and create a landscape in day and night with a depth.
detail of the chopstick screens © Hiroyuki Oki
A place growing with the region
The building design is kept to be as simple as possible. It is a place where activities and interaction occur between the multi-layered screens. The space is designed to be comfortable and familiar to its surrounding. Therefore, families often utilise the comfortable dining space as a resting place while they are using the adjacent pool.
▼项目夜景概览，overall night view of the project © Hiroyuki Oki
▼项目夜景 – 主入口与二层背立面，night view of the project – main entrance and back facade of the dining area © Hiroyuki Oki
The restaurant acts as a social hub within the area, where interaction and food is shared. The design approach of Ippudo Vietnam is a challenge to realise a social space that responds, changes and grows as it ages with its surroundings.
▼一层平面图，ground floor plan © Takashi Niwa Architects
▼二层平面图，first floor plan © Takashi Niwa Architects
▼半室外空间剖面图，section of the semi-outdoor space © Takashi Niwa Architects
▼餐厅剖面图，section of the restaurant © Takashi Niwa Architects
▼背立面图，elevation of back side © Takashi Niwa Architects
Design Firm: Takashi Niwa Architects (Architecture, Landscape and Furniture)
Design Team: Takashi Niwa, Nguyen Le Khanh Duy, Nguyen Van Khuong, Vu Thi Thanh Huong, Yukari Akutsu
Status: Completion 03.2019 Program: Restaurant (Renovation)
Location: MD2 Nguyen Van Linh street, District 7, Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam
Google map link: https://goo.gl/maps/vtGLzoQkUjj5wFTd9
Site area: 640 sqm
GFA: 840 sqm
Client: Pizza 4Ps Corporation
Contractor: Toan Dinh (Tran Duc Nha, Bui Thanh Tien, Mai Minh Nhat, Truong Nguyen Minh Hau)
Products: Taicera, VietCeramic, Betonlab, TOTO, Caeser
Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki