Bamboo Dome cafe wNw
Designed by Vo Trong Nghia architects in Vietnam’s bustling BinhDuong City, the WnW cafe is a safe, peaceful and sustainable haven for workers to escape to. The project consists almost solely of bamboo with a small amount of steel and the V-roof is constructed of thousands of pieces of bamboo. When the project was built, a minimal amount of energy was used due to the use of its primary rich natural material-bamboo.
The use such a traditional material makes an architectural space which is both traditional and yet accessible to a modern lifestyle. The bamboo growth is a fast procedure and a large quantity, can be grown and harvested within 5 years.
Bamboo is the green material of the 21st century due to its excellent CO2 absorbability and higher rebirth ability of bamboo forest in comparison with other tropical forests. It not only is a decorative material but also plays an important role as main structure. Bamboo material has its own attributes such as: small and uneven dimension, high durability to bend.
Due to those special characteristics, Vo Trong Nghia Co. Ltd use bamboo in the curving structure to maximize its potential and cultivate its grace of curvature, which is totally different from other wood materials. With the limitation of length and dimensions of the material, bamboo structure becomes the composition of small pieces. As a consequence, numerous joints are unavoidable and its details become the essence in the bamboo structure.
wNw bar(Bamboo Dome)
The wNw bar is located in an artificial lake next to the wNw café. To create a contrasting space to the cafe, the bar is designed as an enclosed space which can be used for different purposes such as music concerts, shows, ceremonies etc.
A structural bamboo arch system was designed for this dome; 10m high and spanning 15m across. The main frame is made by 48 prefabricated units, each of them is made of several bamboo elements bound together. The building uses natural wind energy and the cool water from the lake to create natural air-ventilation. On the top of the roof there is a hole with a diameter of 1.5m for the evacuation of hot air from the inside.
As a new architectural element, the style of the two buildings of wNw becomes the focus of the landscape and work in harmony with the surrounding residential area. Although the function of the buildings is a bar, it has its own uniqueness and has become a landmark of urban landscape. It represents not only modernism but also traditions. The building gives a luxurious feeling but at the same time remains gentle in its atmosphere. The bar is now also used for town meetings and other social activities.
The two buildings originated from nature. They now merge in harmony with nature. With time they will return to nature.
It is well known that Vietnamese are familiar with bamboo. It is used for many different purposes, in constructions, as finishing materials, hand crafts, in meals. In the wNw cafe the beauty of bamboo has been rediscovered – friendly but extraordinary.
wNw cafe utilizes local and traditional architectural features to create an alternative/ escape from the chaotic surrounding city.
The project uses the principles of aerodynamic design. When designing the café, computer simulations of the spaces were used to study the airflow and the cooling capacity of the water. These studies have allowed us to reduce the use of electrical energy such as air conditioning, lowering the buildings energy costs.
The whole building is constructed by 7,000 bamboo elements which have been treated using traditional Vietnamese methods. The bamboo structure has no concrete columns, but uses wire bracing supports. The V-shaped roof relates to the surrounding trees and creates an open space with breathtaking views.
The café is surrounded by artificial lakes. The lake brings the surroundings closer to the observer. At the first glance the lake gives the impression of being very deep, but is actually just knee high. It is the black stone and the curved bottom of the lake which give the illusion of the depth. The guests enjoy their coffee and feel like they are returning to nature and a peaceful life.
Vo Trong Nghia
Recently, flood is frequently occurred in many regions in Vietnam, especially in Mekong Delta region. The demand of evacuation of local residents from the flood-stricken areas is considerably high. Therefore, the idea in design of architectural model made from the low-cost materials is necessarily raised in order to make high speed construction and ease in transport.
In purpose of helping residents in the flood-stricken areas to make the temporary houses, tents, school classroom, as well as in business purpose, such as cafe, bar, resort, the model of wind and water bar (wNw bar) is proposed in the initial design.wNw bar is a structural bamboo arch system with 10m in height, spanning 15m in length. The main frame is made from 48 units of bamboo elements. Materials using for the roof covering are the sheets that made from the leaves having the high resistance in fire. Bamboo trees are popularly growing in many places in Vietnam. Traditionally, bamboo is treated by muddy soaking and smoking out in order to lengthen the service life of bamboo.
In order to overcome such large span for a construction made by bamboo, most important mission is to do the test of full-scale model together with structural calculation. The location that selected to do the full-scale test is an area of 5000m2 in Wind and Water Cafe, which has been awarded the gold medal in the Arch Asia Contest and the second prize in the International Bamboo Competition). Together with the Wind and water Cafe, the full-scale model is built to be a wNw bar. The wNw bar is located in the center of Thu Dau Mot, Binh Duong province in the southern region of Vietnam. This will become a cultural center for the local residents.
The construction site is located in the man-made lake, using the natural wind energy together with the cool water from the lake to make the natural air-ventilation. On the top of roof, there is a hole with diameter of 1.5m having the function to intake the hot air inside the bar to go outside.
The wNw bar has been built by local workers in duration of 3 months (from October 2007 to January 2008). By using materials, manpower and construction method as above mentioned, the wNw bar becomes friendly not only to the environment but also to the local residents. Because of energy saving during the construction as well in the operation, even those in the stage of emolishment,the wNw bar seems to be born from the nature, harmony with the nature and return to the nature.
Measuring up to the target issues for sustainable construction
Quantum change and transferability:
- wNw model is constructed from 48 bamboo units, has reached the height of 10m, span of 15m and fulfills criteria of low-price, easy adaption and saving energy(in either constructing, operating and waste recycling).
- Advantages above give this model the ability to serve the 2 following functions: 1. Prefabricated Housing : Temporary prefabricated houses, classrooms, evacuation shelters, etc.. for residence in flooding areas( floods occur annually in the far-south Vietnam : Mekong Delta lower section due to geographical characteristic and become more and more severe each year) 2. Business purposes :Cafe, bar, resort, etc…- Although long span Bamboo Construction is a innovative technology, it is easy to assemble, reutilize due to its unitization therefore can be widely used.
Ethical standards and social equity:
- Low-price investment and rapid assembly promise a probability of development among low income classes or in emergency situations at disaster sites. Moreover, its solution of low-tech construction also creates extra work for farmers to increase their incomes. In this study case, bar wNw creates a group of bamboo constructions for entertainment providing cultural communion spaces for the community.
Ecological quality and energy conservation:
- Usage of natural materials : bamboo, which is local and easy to find, and its rapid growth help reducing construction energy such as concrete producing energy, steel refinement energy, etc.. and also minimizing construction waste after service-time. Besides, natural ventilation and cooling system based on natural wind create a tremendous natural air conditioning system and helps lowering down operating energy. While outdoor air-temperature of Southern Vietnam is constantly high throughout a year, which can be up to 35degrees Celcius, the interior temperature remains comfortably normal as approximately 25 degrees Celcius.
- The whole structure of this model, except for its base, is ecologically made of bamboo to be in harmory with the surrounding nature.
Economic performance and compatibility:
- Cost of one model can be minimized by using local materials such as bamboo (1USD/1 unit) and low-price labour forces(4.5USD/person/day). Assembly system helps reducing labour energy to shorten construction time and lower management fee andalso promises the probability of reutilization and specialization. wNw uses only natural ventilation to reduce expenditure onoperating and maintenance.
Contextual and aesthetic impact:
- This new architectural style is in harmony with the surrounding residential area and becomes a focus of the landscape. Even in thisstudy case, although wNw has a function of a bar, it still has its own uniqueness and can be a landmark of urbanism.Representing not only modernism but also traditionalism, the building can bring out the luxurious feelings but still remains gentlyclose to human.
Project name: Bamboo Dome cafe wNw
Location: Phu Tho district, Thu Dau Mot Town, Binh Duong, Vietnam
- wNw bar(Bamboo Dome) – 250 sqm
- wNw cafe – 1,403 sqm
Project Year: 2007 – 2010
- wNw bar(Bamboo Dome) - 2008
- wNw cafe – 2010
wNw bar(Bamboo Dome)
- 2012 WAN Awards – 21 for 21 – Entry
- 2009 World Architecture Festival – Civic and community, Interiors and Fit Out – Bars and restaurants, Structural Design – Spans – Shortlisted
- 2009 World Architecture Festival – Civic and community, Interiors and Fit Out – Bars and restaurants, Structural Design – Spans - Category Commendation
- 2009 WAN Awards – Commercial Category – Entry
- 2009 WAN Awards – Commercial Category – Entry
Client / Owner / Developer: cafe wNw
Architects: Vo Trong Nghia, Hochiminh city, Vietnam
Text Description: © Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia, worldbuildingsdirectory, worldarchitecturenews, milimet
Images: © Phan Quang, Dinh Thu Thuy