Nocenco Cafe || Iconic Open-Air Bamboo Cafe in Vinh, Vietnam

The perfect summer hangout.

Nocenco Cafe is an addition to an existing, 7-floor concrete building in Vinh, the largest city and economic center of central Vietnam. VTN Architects was tasked with creating a rooftop addition that would transform the building into a recognized icon within the city. 

Considering their time and cost constraints, the team came up with an cost effective solution that allowed passerby below to easily recognize the building. After researching and studying several material options including brick, stone, etc. the team decided bamboo, illustrating the concept of "lightness". Bamboo shoots are light to transport, and can easily be lifted to the top of the building by crane, reducing the time and labour required for the project. 

Once the bamboo was lifted to the top of the building, the team used the material to cover the existing concrete structure, creating a one-of-a-kind, enormous dome structure on the roof, with beautifully-framed views of the surrounding city. The iconic dome structure can be easily located from any point in the city. 

The vaulted ceilings create an airy gathering space to relax away from the strength of the sun during the daytime, and a cool, breezy spot for a drink in the evening. 

The original space is an L-shape, and the two rectangles connect to form the vaulted ceilings, framing picturesque views of the cityscape and the historical stadium. 

NNNocenco Cafe Vinh Vietnam X Pendulum Magazine

By day the open-air dome draws in natural light, and by night the suspended circular lamps create a soothing ambiance to complement intimate conversations. 

10 bamboo columns were used to hide the existing structure, and 4 more columns were added to help divide the space into different private areas. With these clever spatial divides, each private area provides a unique experience and view of the surrounding cityscape.

The spot offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding low-rise homes, which were mostly damaged in the Vietnam War, and most were rebuilt with European-inspired facades. Guests can take in the view of the historic homes leading to the river, and breathe in the fresh air intermingled with the lightness of the bamboo shoots. 



23 Quang Trung, Thành phố Vinh, Nghệ An, Vietnam

+84 238 3926 868


Additional Project Information

Principal Architects: Vo Trong Nghia, Nguyen Tat Dat
Design team: To Quang Cam, Le Hoang Tuyet Ngoc, Takahito Yamada

Office Credit: VTN architects (Vo Trong Nghia Architects)
Status: Built in 05.2018
Program: Café, Club
Location: Vinh city, Nghe An, Vietnam
Footprint: 438m2
Bamboo Contractor: VTN Architects
Photographs: Trieu Chien