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Bosgaurus Coffee Roasters is a local expert serving farm-to-table specialty coffee. With the slogan “keeping dreams awake”, they persistently experiment to elevate the Vietnamese coffee quality and craftsmanship on the global stage. By opening their flagship store in Ho Chi Minh City, they continue to seek the language of minimal and elegant design. The local cultural context was the biggest driver for the design, in particular the nearby Saigon Opera House which inspired not only the architecture, but also the idea of live performance. The existing Art Deco-style facade of the site was preserved and painted in neutral colours to match the Saigon Opera House’s tones.

Embracing both the client’s story and local context, we proposed a design that revolves around the concept of a “performing stage”, with the vision to elevate the art of coffee making and baristas as performers showcasing their art. Strategic spatial planning led us to have the bar as a stage. The stage consists firstly of the heavy bar and secondly, the signature element from our client’s brand, the “fly bar”. The latter is cantilevered from a single supporting structure made of 2 tonnes of concrete foundation to create the flying effect. As we wanted various types of interaction between the performers and the audience, some at eye-level and some from an elevated point of view, we played with different levels to achieve this innovative approach.

Bosgaurus Coffee Roasters believes in transparency to represent their coffee-making process and such spirit has been elegantly implemented through the architecture. A permeable visual connection between indoor, semi-outdoor, and outdoor seating zones was achieved using frameless full-height glazing. Custom stainless steel loose furniture was designed to be light and thin to balance the heaviness of the bar.

Sustainability is a pillar in every design decision. The most dominant material used for flooring and the bar finishes is the environmentally friendly, and water-based ecological flooring surface by Nora Design Italiano. Natural ventilated semi-outdoor and outdoor areas offer guests seating options while reducing the use of AC. A skylight void was designed as a solar chimney allowing hot air to be efficiently released while maximizing natural light into the interiors hence minimizing the need for artificial lighting.

The lighting design follows the concept of a performance stage. Spotlights focused on the “fly bar”, while in contrast, diffused wall lights were used in surrounding seating areas to provide a soft ambient mood to the audience. The use of 4000K lighting also transforms the space into a cool retreat for coffee lovers during the day while displaying a warm and luxury bar atmosphere during the night.

Overall, this cafe and bar fosters a sense of community, bringing together people from different backgrounds who share their love for coffee. Bosgaurus Coffee Roasters is more than just a coffee shop; it acts as a stage to celebrate the craftsmanship involved in Vietnamese coffee making and elevate its image globally.

Architects: NU architecture & design
Lead Architects: Jonathan Ng Cheong Tin, Yumie Le
Design Team: Joshua Wilson, Le Nguyen Hai Duong
Interior Designer: Phan Sy Quang, Le Thi Thanh Truc
Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki


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