Density has always been a strong characteristic of Hanoi. Historically horizontal concentrations have been typical and recently vertical construction has strengthened the capital. Contrary to the trend of building density compaction, this Organic Café plays with architectural contrasts to propose a microcosm that is resilient in an urban context.
The site, in a very densely populated area of North Hanoi. It consists of two areas; existing seven-storey tube houses and low-rise steel structures. The project draws its design references from a traditional shophouse typology of providing ventilation and natural lighting throughout a horizontal organization, the density of which is broken down by an open plaza that is scattered intermittently. This design principle was reinterpreted by G8A’s use of vertical slit which allows natural ventilation, lighting and comfortable social and commercial spaces.
Light metal structures are used to expand the surface area and maintain a transparent feeling. The game of spatial and material distinctions between “full” and “empty” promotes the idea of self-contained systems in a saturated environment.