Vo Trong Nghia designs bold bamboo extension to Vietnamese wellness retreat

Pioneering architect Vo Trong Nghia, famous for his bamboo-based designs, has created a bar, restaurant and multi-purpose event space to enhance a wellness resort in the Vietnamese coastal city Da Nang.

Nghia provided the original masterplan for the Naman Retreat – a 3.4ha tropical complex containing 80 guest bungalows, 26 villas, a hotel and five-star spa facilities – and was also tasked with designing the additional facilities by the Thanh Do Investment Development and Construction company.

To complete the structures, Nghia returned to his favourite form. Various types of bamboo – differing in size and flexibility – were heated, soaked in water and fumigated over a four-month period before being shaped to specification on site.

The Nghia-designed Hay Hay Restaurant and Bar, which can hold up to 350 guests, is formed of 29 fanning bamboo columns and two skylit bamboo domes. A glass facade supported by concrete pillars is designed to keep in cool air, while providing relaxing views of the surrounding coastal landscape. Outside, Hay Hay’s cylindrical bamboo bar floats on the surface of a large pool.

Similar techniques have been used to construct a separate bar located on the beach itself, and a 300-capacity hall which can host concerts, performances, lectures and conferences.

Nghia said: “The resort was designed by a harmonious mix of greenery, natural stone and bamboo to achieve a perfect atmosphere for guests to experience the maximum purification and relaxation of body and mind.”

Existing facilities at the resort include a pure spa designed by Vietnamese architects MIA Studio. That building is covered in draping plants and hanging gardens – in keeping with the resort’s wider design – and features open-air gardens, lotus ponds and a “wall-less” ground floor.

The spa features fifteen individual treatment rooms, sauna and steam ooms, a gym and a yoga pavilion. Naman resort offers ‘detox journeys’ of up to 14 days focused on cleansing and purifying mind, body and soul with spa treatments, healthy meal plans, colon hydrotherapy, physical activities and wellness therapies.

Bamboo is becoming an increasingly popular contemporary building material, especially in Asia, because of its strength, flexibility and relatively low cost.

The Beijing and Vienna-based architecture studio Penda recently revealed its vision for a city of 20,000 people made entirely from bamboo bound with rope.

Related stories
29 Jul 2015

Free-flowing, 'wall-less' wellness spa opens at Vietnam’s Naman Retreat

Pioneering architect Vo Trong Nghia, famous for his bamboo-based designs, has created a bar, restaurant and multi-purpose event space to enhance a wellness resort in the Vietnamese coastal city Da Nang. Nghia provided the original masterplan for the Naman Retreat – a 3.4ha tropical complex containing 80 guest bungalows, 26 villas, a hotel and five-star spa facilities – and was also tasked with designing the additional facilities by the Thanh
Skylights built into the bamboo domes allow daylight to enter the restaurant / Vo Trong Nghia Architects
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