INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN AWARDS 2022
Piece Of Drink
Commercial Architecture Built
Studio: D1 architectural studio
Architect / Designer: Linh Nguyen
Tan Nguyen, Linh Nguyen, Mi Sa Do, Nhut Bui
Country: Viet Nam
Photographer: Quang Dam
Piece Of Drink is located in a quiet alley at the heart of the busiest central district of Saigon, the economic heart of Vietnam. Unlike other cafés that shield its guests inside the safety of concrete, Piece Of Drink opens to the surrounding area with a graceful curtain of many small stones lacing together. The structure, created from the architect’s resonance with the rhythm of life inside the alleyway, 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. The space is laden with rocks and plants, jagged and raw creations of nature that call upon city dwellers to return to their true home.
The interior space of Piece Of Drink emphasizes service experience, with the counter situated in a central position so that staff can observe and attend to guests promptly. The space exudes 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 a wavy pattern that absorb the noises, and maintain the sense of peace. Every element in the space is coated in various shades of terracotta – a shade between orange and brown, the color of earth, the color of fire, terracotta calls in a warm candle-lit night beside a fireplace – a feeling of home, a yearning for restoration and reflection.
Decorating the walls Piece Of Drink are photos 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 artist recreated the exact feeling of drowning under the whirlwind of exhaust streams that encircle us at every intersection. Resonating with the theme of Piece Of Drink, the artworks warns urban residents about the potential dangers of environmental pollution, and encourages us to think more deeply, and live more reflectively.