Located in an old apartment building in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City is the quaint and cozy Chidori cafe. Designed by Studio Anettai, the cafe is a mile away from the typical trendy cafes you come across today, instead, it is a warm and welcoming space that allows you to relax, unwind, and take a deep breath from life the hectic city. It provides a welcoming and safe space for the younger generations to connect and participate.
Designer: Studio Anettai
The cafe is surrounded by large Vietnamese houses on both sides, and was once built in a traditional tube house. The entire cafe is marked with beautiful modern materials – you can see extensive use of wood and brick, as well as soft ambient lighting. The most interesting and delightful feature of the cafe is the rows of large double bunk beds integrated instead of typical cafe-style seating. Studio Anettai has abandoned the traditional tables and chairs, and instead created semi-private pods that allow customers to relax and experience a peaceful time. Zigzag brick walls are separated by a series of openings, giving the space a sense of privacy. The roomy bunk beds are laminated with wood, and the interior of the unit is finished with synthetic leather, creating a space that feels really comfortable and cozy.
The location of the cafe is quite segregated and isolated from the rest of the city. It is defined by multiple narrow alleys called ‘hems’. These hems are responsible for creating urban blocks that are quite fragmented and separated from the city. By creating a cafe in such a place, the studio has tried to reconnect this fragmented space with the rest of the city, encouraging the old and the new to fuse and merge together. Chidori is meant to be a ‘home away from home’ for today’s youth, giving them a space that is modern yet homely.
The exterior of the cafe has been designed to blend harmoniously with its surroundings. Materials such as brick tiles, stucco-like beige plaster, and ventilation blocks were used. These materials are commonly seen in traditional Vietnamese construction, allowing the structure to blend well with its streetscape. The cafe is a cozy space to lie in bed and have a cup of coffee, especially if you need a break from the constant hustle and bustle of city life!