The Cocoa Project

The Cocoa Project

Architect
T3 Architects
Location
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam | View Map
Project Year
2022
Category
Bars

Restaurants
Hiroyuki Oki
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
FlooringSika
Sikafloor® Chapdur
Console LavatoryTOTO
LT523R
Door HandleHäfele
Door handle set, stainless steel, Startec Art. no. 903.99.978
Door HandleVICKINI
VICKINI 37103.102 SSS
LightingELEK
Green TilesJati Mosaic

Product Spec Sheet
Flooring
Sikafloor® Chapdur by Sika
Console Lavatory
LT523R by TOTO
Door Handle
Door handle set, stainless steel, Startec Art. no. 903.99.978 by Häfele
Door Handle
VICKINI 37103.102 SSS by VICKINI
Lighting
by ELEK
Green Tiles

The Cocoa Project

T3 Architects as Architects

T3 ARCHITECTS designed the first “THE COCOA PROJECT” in Saigon, a friendly and airy space bringing together sustainable architecture and sustainably sourced cacao trace chocolate.

photo_credit Hiroyuki Oki
Hiroyuki Oki

The main design intention of T3 Team was to recover the existing modernist Villa from the 50’s and give it a second life dedicated to the Cocoa & Pastry. A place for Vietnamese, to reconnect with their heritage and to realize the quality of their cocoa produced in Mekong Delta. This elegant villa was totally invisible when we started the design, as decades of ugly industrial finishing materials were covering all walls, ceiling, Facades. The place was totally dark and sad… T3 decided to remove a part of the roof and to break some concrete slabs to create a tropical garden, to bring natural light in all the building, and to highlight the architectural elements typical from this period. It is more an “archeological” mission than an architecture and interior design mission. The beauty was there. T3 and the Cocoa Project Team and all partners involved in the project gave all their effort to rediscover and create a peaceful place in the hearth of Saigon.

photo_credit Hiroyuki Oki
Hiroyuki Oki

When T3 Team first visited the place, we saw a nice staircase in terrazzo, as well as some cornices on the ceiling, both typical from the modernist period. We proceeded step by step, removing layer after layer, discovering old handrails, vertical concrete louvers, old layers of lime painting. And we decided to preserve all to suggest the past and the history of Saigon.

photo_credit Hiroyuki Oki
Hiroyuki Oki

T3 did the choice to preserve a part of the existing street Facade, after removing all finishing, to create a kind of acoustic protection and offer a quiet garden for the coffee shop, insulated from the street’s noise. The tropical garden was inspired by the plantations of the farmers of Mekong Delta. We specified some typical palm trees from South Vietnam as well as a very nice and productive Cocoa Tree, as a symbol. Some additional plants will cover the walls soon and bring freshness, without requiring any important maintenance; as T3 always consider to reduce water consumption. 

photo_credit Hiroyuki Oki
Hiroyuki Oki
photo_credit Hiroyuki Oki
Hiroyuki Oki

More generally, T3 intention was to make this project as sustainable as possible, first by preserving the main structure of the existing buildings (always better than demolishing and rebuild). Then, we have reduced the number of new materials as much as possible. All of them are sourced and produced in Vietnam, to avoid unnecessary transportation costs and pollution. Finally, T3 specified natural or low carbon materials as much as possible to ensure a proper air quality (zero chemical): non cooked local cement tiles, solid wood for all furniture, knowing that a large part are antic furniture, lime painting, etc. The bar counter and mirror frames have been tailor-made by T3, using materials composed by recycled tetra packs & plastic produced by our friends from Plastic People.

 

photo_credit Hiroyuki Oki
Hiroyuki Oki
photo_credit Hiroyuki Oki
Hiroyuki Oki

The Cocoa Project is really a manifesto of the Vietnamese Heritage regeneration, following a happy & creative frugal approach.

photo_credit Hiroyuki Oki
Hiroyuki Oki

Team:
Architects: T3 ARCHITECTS
Lead Architects: Charles GALLAVARDIN, Tereza GALLAVARDIN, Guillermo BANDERAS 
Architect: Hai TA QUANG 
Interior Designer: Kieu Chinh NGUYEN
Contractor, MEP, Structure Consultant: PI Architects
Lighting Design: Baeteman & Ta Design Studio
Landscape Design: T3 Architects - Anthony Desgre 
Scenography: Cent Degres Vietnam - Patrick Wong Mui
Photographer: Hiroyuki Oki

photo_credit Hiroyuki Oki
Hiroyuki Oki

Materials used: 
Construction System: Concrete, Brick, Glass
Finishes: Concrete, Steel, Recycled Material
PLASTIC PEOPLE: Recycled plastic boards & Tetra Pak boards
SECOIN: Cement tiles 20x20cm 
Jati mosaic: Green Tiles - 50 x 200
Vietceramics: Dark Grey Tiles 60x60
TOTO: Console Lavatory - LT523R
VICKINI: Door Handle - 37103.102 SSS
Hafele: Door Handle - Art. no. 903.99.978

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