Crafted by bamboo virtuoso Vo Trong Nghia, the Naman Retreat infuses contemporary design into one of Asia's oldest building materials
Located in Da Nang, Vietnam, and designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, Naman Retreat delivers an innovative vision of Vietnamese architecture to the world, celebrating one of Asia's most ancient of building materials, bamboo.
Building a reputation on its dedication to Vietnam's traditions and abundance of natural bounty, Vo Trong Nghia Architects use a contemporary design vocabulary to explore new ways to create green architecture for the 21st century, while maintaining the essence of Asian architectural expression. Experimenting with light, wind and water, using natural and local materials, Naman is a stunning display of the practice's ethos and skills.
The arrival experience at Naman Retreat begins with the view of the conference hall, the first building to greet visitors. Iconic and impressive, the vaulted bamboo structure gives the building the appearance of a cathedral, its rectangular hall featuring an asymmetrical pitched roof consisting of two parallel spaces: the closed hall and an exterior corridor which serves as an outdoor lobby as well.
The main bearing structure is the bamboo frame, which spans 13.5 metres in the hall and four metres in the corridor, with a roof height of 9.5 metres. The arch-like impression is created by the bent bamboo, which forms part of the main structure. By stepping the glass façade backwards into the volume, three frames of the arch structure are in the exterior, conveniently creating a foyer to welcome guests.
Equally breathtaking is Naman's Hay Hay Restaurant, the largest and the most complex bamboo structure in the hideaway. Comprising 29 conic shaped bamboo columns and two domes, the beautifully intricate structures bring to mind complex Spirograph doodlings: twisting, turning, elaborate. Capped with perfectly thatched roofs — that most traditional of Vietnam's village building typology — Hay Hay also features a tower-like bar floating on the pool in front of the restaurant. Here, an 8.5m height bamboo hyperboloid shell structure adds dynamism to the roof landscape of the venue as a whole.
This is an excerpt from the "A Symphony in Bamboo” article from the May 2016 issue of Perspective magazine.
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