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The Proscenium

“ A continuum draws attention through the window ”

Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Program: Dessert bar

Area: 80m²

Completion: November, 2016

The Proscenium is a small dessert restaurant located in Ho Chi Minh City. The project is to renovate the ground floor of a former residential building that was built as part of a large redevelopment completed in the 1990’s. Row houses forming the block were built with similar decorative elements such as Greekish columns and moldings, but most of those original decorations have vanished through the recent years of overdevelopment in the central commercial district, during which time the next trend has already been discovered. The project began with a reflection on the rapid trend cycle of architectural style and ended by reclaiming the abandoned design with a new design element slid into the building.


A typical Vietnamese row house has a long and narrow shape with a staircase in the middle of the building, providing natural sunlight and ventilation for the whole space. This is regarded as the fruit of wisdom for a house but not for a restaurant. We proposed the rehabilitation of the staircase, transforming the largest space occupier into a core for creating new space, and distributed fundamental functions by stretching this element throughout the ground floor. For fear of being consumed as a momentary trend, the new occupant eliminated unnecessary decorative element as much as possible. As a result, a chain of neutral objects, juxtaposed with the original classical ornamentations, organized the entire interior space.



© Photograph by Hiroyuki Oki

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