In Vietnam, it’s common to use bamboo baskets to catch fish and eels. Less common? To find the same type of bamboo structures supporting an entire building. This open-air beauty is the Kontum Indochine Cafe, in central Vietnam, and it looks like it’s supported by 15 giant bamboo fishing baskets.
Fishing, however, is probably not as pleasant as eating breakfast on the edge of the pools that surround the breezy wallless restaurant. The roof is dressed in bamboo, but it’s interwoven with layers of thatch and fibre-reinforced plastic. Other elements of the canopy were built using traditional techniques of the area. Like the columns? All made from bamboo, pasted together by smoke-drying, rather than a more modern method. And even though Vietnam can get hot as balls, there’s no need for air conditioning, thanks to the breeze blowing in off the lake.
The cafe was designed by Vo Trong Nghia Architects, which works with bamboo quite a bit. They’ve built a domed bamboo bar in the middle of a lake, modular bamboo homes, a hotel lobby made of bamboo, and more. It’s cool because the material is in harmony with the environment, which makes sense, since bamboo is one of the more sustainable materials — and a peaceful and naturally beautiful one at that.