So 9, which translates to ‘Number 9’, is the lucky number in Vietnamese culture. Situated in Waterloo, Sydney, So 9 restaurant serves up authentic Vietnamese street food in a refined, minimal and contemporary setting. The interior has been designed around the preparation of the cuisine, with cooking stations for different traditional menu items, bringing the diner into the cooking experience. Detailed joinery creates implied boundaries providing intimacy whilst keeping the space open and a variety of seating styles allow for multiple dining experiences. Subtle references to Vietnamese style are made through forms and materials, however the interior presents a new environment to experience this artisan food.
The starting point for the interior design was the brand, where inspiration was taken from the keywords and values established for the brand. Refined, Vietnamese, soul, memory, light, contemporary. These keywords, along with the branding, which is soft and airy, guided the choice of materials. The watercolour illustrations used in the branding also inspired many of our decisions as well.
BrandWorks engaged illustrator Beth-Emily to create several pieces of art for both the interiors and the menu. Beth-Emily’s quiet, spacious and reflective style speaks to the concept of families, journeys and collective memory we wanted to highlight in this project. This is also reflected in the carefully crafted type which features custom built diacritic accents.