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The Sauvage

“ A stone chamber in a bustling city lies in serenity ”

Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Program: Restaurant

Area: 123m²

Completion: July, 2020

The Sauvage is a project for a sushi restaurant in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City. The restaurant will host guests from all around the world as it is adjacent to one of the most famous tourist destinations in the city, Ben Thanh Market. Generally, traditional sushi restaurants aim to create minimalist environments utilizing several design formulas, which are rooted in extreme forms of sophistication in Japanese culture. Today’s globalization exposes such tradition to excessive cultural reproduction, where implicit formulas lose connection to their genesis. If we seek a return to the origin of the emergence of a process of formalization, it is rational for the practice to select domestic basalt stone constituting Vietnamese earth instead of the hinoki cypress that forms Japanese forests. In the city characterized by intense heat, comfort dwells in hard and cold rather than soft and warm materials.


Representing a stone chamber excavated in a tropical city, the interior space is shielded in a veil of serenity against the city’s bustling streets. A sleek weightless countertops float in the center of the space that is dominated by the heavy mass of rugged surfaces, both of which are made of the same material – local basalt stone. The stone chamber has both small and large green surfaces in the place of typical windows, and they evoke an imaginary connection with the outside and give order to the space. The small circular window of greenery is placed inside the counter as a focal point centering attention. The large rectangular green wall serves as a backdrop for the whole space and a main component of the entrance garden. A series of noren-curtains spans the full width of the space to frame the entrance garden of the dining hall, which can be removed to reconnect the two spaces according to modes of usage.



© Photograph by Hiroyuki Oki

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