Nestled 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 miles apart from the typical trendy cafes you come across nowadays, instead, it is a warm and welcoming space that let’s you rest, relax, and take a deep breathe away from the hectic city life. It provides younger generations with an inviting and safe space to connect and engage.
Designer: Studio Anettai
The cafe is surrounded by quintessential Vietnamese homes on both sides, and it has been built in what was once a conventional tube house. The entire cafe is marked by beautiful modern materials – you can see wood and bricks being widely utilized, as well as soft ambient lighting. The most interesting and delightful feature of the cafe is the rows of spacious double bunk beds that have been integrated in place of typical cafe-style seating. Studio Anettai has abandoned the traditional tables and chairs, and instead created semi-private pods that allow customers to unwind and experience a peaceful time. Zigzag bricks walls are interspersed with a series of openings, which imparts the space with a sense of privacy. The roomy bunk beds have been laminated with wood, while the insides of the pod have been finished in synthetic leather, creating a space that truly feels comfy and cozy.
The site of the cafe is rather segregated and detached from the rest of the city. It is defined by multiple narrow alleys that are 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 location, the studio has attempted to reconnect this fragmented space with the rest of the city, in turn encouraging the old and the new to fuse and merge together. Chidori is meant to be a ‘home away from home’ for the youngsters of today, providing them with a space that is modern yet homely.
The exterior of the cafe was designed to harmoniously blend with its surroundings. Materials such as brick tiles, stucco-like beige plaster, and vent blocks were utilized. These materials are seen quite commonly in traditional Vietnamese construction, allowing the structure to merge quite well with its streetscape. The cafe is a heartwarming space to simply lay in bed and grab a cup of coffee, especially if you need a break from the constant hustle and bustle of city life!