Act as a Regional Hub while Improving the Environment

Infinitive Architecture unveiled The Vibes, a lowrise multi-functional building designed to create a multi-functional hub for F&B, meetings, workshops, galleries, and events in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The project showcases an effort to insert a functional green point into the city without occupying a large plot of land. It also demonstrates a bio-climatic design approach and natural material use throughout implementation. The venue has entered the spotlight since opening in August 2022, gaining a reputation as a regular place to meet, work, chill out, and celebrate, right in the heart of the urban center.


Front Facade
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View from level 2 atrium
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Workshop space
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Design Context

It has become prevalent for dwellers in Vietnam's big cities, especially Ho Chi Minh City, to realize the importance of having access to qualified green spaces and good air quality. A serious lack of public transportation, traffic jams with noise and air pollution, and urban environment heating contribute to wearing down energy as people head to their offices. Meanwhile, extreme high density construction for the majority of low-rise buildings leaves no options for green spaces. Lunchtime in a cramped and hot place in town, or locked in an air-conditioned room, has become the norm for most people.


View from level 3 workspace roofdeck
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The heritage hall entrance view
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Main facade at the courtyard
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Space Planning

Using transitioning space planning, the designers enhanced the building with the main facade located on and facing the inside. The journey from the gate to the courtyard garden (before getting to the entrance lobby) is long enough to gradually increase the feeling of transitioning into a tranquil oasis. The courtyard is quiet enough to hear birds and cicadas chirping, and the fine wind-powered sound on the bamboo facade curtain. Additionally, the 3D interlaced public green spaces somehow make part of the massing vanish into the landscape. The build-up areas appear to form part of a landscape system.


Buffering corridor
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Restaurant space
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Courtyard view to back block
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A huge plant screen wall at the end of the courtyard walkway defines the entrance to the building. This green screen wall of vertical cable climbing plants eliminates the inside and outside boundaries. Sunlight and open air soothe the 8-meter-high open lobby with large foliage trees, forming an outstanding secondary under-shadow garden with zero distance from the courtyard garden.

Massing Concept

Four layers of 8-meter-high bamboo sunshade screens on all glass curtain walls sandwich the interior spaces. These sun-shading screens provide low-opacity views from the interior toward the surroundings, yet maintain sensible privacy for the spaces in between them. The second and third layers are key geometric elements of the main facade of the building, in a sensible proportion with other rectangular surfaces including climber plants, grass, and water features, coming in a U-folded assemblage. The concave part of the massing on the front forms the entrance walkway and offers an appealing view of the courtyard.


Courtyard garden view to front block
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Front block in the afternoon
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View from groundfloor courtyard garden
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Sunshade and Buffering Solution

The building nests within an energy-saving envelope, with a 100% glass curtain wall system hidden behind the bamboo skin. On top of that, a system of cable climbing plants and drooping plant screen walls as space dividers at open lounges and corridors makes these buffering spaces more retreated and comfortable. Movement and sound effects, derived from the bamboo screen oscillation, infuse the spaces with a tranquil mood. It also results in a lively emotion, while looking through a sunshade screen in motion, especially from the interior.


Staircase atrium
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Sunshading composition
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The open lobby lounge
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Material Concept

The building generates an eco-friendly vibe through the use of materials. Bamboo, plants screen walls, and autoclaved bricks are elements of green material composition. As a microclimate improvement solution, the firm designed outdoor ground surfaces in a way that minimizes the absorption and radiating of the sun's energy back to the outdoor spaces. The courtyard and the rooftop garden surfaces come with grass, a water feature, and crushed stone aggregate topping on Geocells, with fine concrete or step stone walkways where needed. The use of materials, together with a great density of greenery, has entitled the building to a regularly comfortable outdoor and semi-outdoor temperature. The Onduline Roofing System for both the roof and the external walls of the Heritage Gallery at the outside of the building demonstrates the implementation of an eco-friendly and recycled choice of material for the envelope.


Infinitive Architecture workspace
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Public landscape roof deck at level 3
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The workspace landscape roofdeck
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Cultural Approach

Last but not least, the Heritage Gallery in Zone 3 plays a meaningful role as a part of the formerly named city of Saigon. The gallery comes with a transparent entrance wall facing the rooftop garden just one level below, yet is designed with acoustic elements including an origami-inspired ceiling design and an installation of over 3,000 pieces of 160-year-old clay roof tiles from the oldest standing church in the city. Conveying a preservation message, the place has hosted many cultural activities and events and expects to become a regular exhibition space for photographs, paintings, and maps about the old Saigon, as a tiny contribution to heritage preservation in Vietnam.


The heritage hall - entrance hallway
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The Heritage Hall interior
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Infinitive Architecture

Established in 2008 by architect Nguyen Quang Hien, Infinitive Architecture has completed projects in Vietnam and Southeast Asia, with professional practices in architecture, interiors, planning, and landscapes. In continuing to study architecture, the firm studies the relationships of buildings in their contexts, environments, societies, and ecosystems. The firm appreciates the conveyance of local cultures, natural features, and originality in architectural design.