Fibre-reinforced concrete planters as building facad

SAVA unveils its plans for Thavi Cosmetic Showroom, a conversion and renovation project located in the center of the City of Vinh, Vietnam. Typically, buildings in Vinh City tend to be hastily constructed without much consideration for well-being, or are simply replicated from European Colonial styles. SAVA’s proposal, however, is a modern interpretation of tropical architecture that carefully considers the local culture and climate.


FRP planter facade detail
Photo credit: SAVA

The existing three-story retail building was built in the early 2000s for the purpose of selling electrical and home appliances. The client approached SAVA to refurbish and renovate it into a well-being and beauty spa. The brief is to create a facade that is both inviting and attractive. The client also requested an abundance of natural light and greenery inside of each space, which is currently dark and moldy.


Exterior facade with FRP planters.
Photo credit: SAVA


Private spa lobby with natural lighting and greenery view despite situated in the center of building.
Photo credit: SAVA


VIP spa room surrounded by greenery
Photo credit: SAVA

SAVA's solution is to use fiber-reinforced concrete (FRP) planters as the building facade. The planters are designed in modules for higher quality and quicker fabrication, and their sizes have been optimized for easy transportation using standard trucks available in Vietnam.


FRP planter module for easier transportation and higher fabrication quality
Photo credit: SAVA


Reception & showroom - curve language continues into the showroom interior.
Photo credit: SAVA


Rooftop indoor cafe with natural lighting from side and top, filtered by greenery and timber ceiling
Photo credit: SAVA

In order to introduce natural lighting into the building, the proposal suggests demolishing the existing staircase and partial floor slab at the center of the building to create an atrium with a skylight above. This will illuminate the darkest recesses of the building. Additionally, a curved metal staircase is proposed at the atrium to replace the existing staircase, strategically placed around a central green courtyard. Moreover, the same strategy is applied to the back side of the building, allowing natural light to enter from both the front and back facades, as well as the rooftop.


Curved staircase with garden courtyard from top
Photo credit: SAVA


Staircase garden courtyard to bring in an abundance of natural light.
Photo credit: SAVA


Rooftop outdoor cafe surrounded by native plants and shrubs
Photo credit: SAVA

About SAVA

SAVA is a design consultancy firm with offices in Sabah, Malaysia and Da Nang, Vietnam. Co-founded by Aron Beh Kawai and To Quang Cam, the firm draws inspiration from the mountains of Northern Borneo and the coastline of Central Vietnam. SAVA was formed with a commitment to designing spaces for people from every walk of life - by utilising locally-sourced materials and local building techniques. The firm's designs are intended to bring people closer to nature, particularly in urban environments. SAVA's portfolio ranges from residential, hospitality, and commercial projects, including interior design, with additional experience in master planning, housing, and bamboo architecture in Asia and Europe.