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Design Details: The Vertical Louvers of Tiam House Cafe in Vietnam

NKAA Studio Tiam cafe 1

The Tiam House cafe and residence in Hue city in central Vietnam. Photo by Quang Dam, courtesy of NKAA.

In the historic city of Hue in Central Vietnam stands a beacon of louver-wrapped coffee light that provides a home to three generations of a family running a coffee shop on the ground floor.

Designed by the local firm Nguyen Khai Architects & Associates (NKAA) and its principal Nguyen Quang Khai on a near-impossibly tight 35-square-meter (about 376-square-foot) corner in a central part of the city, the Tiam House and coffee shop encompasses about 150 square meters (1,600 square feet). The vertically oriented, three-floor design incorporates white louvers that flow with the surrounding streetscape and natural landscape in the hillsides above.

vertical louvers

Photo by Quang Dam, courtesy of NKAA.

NKAA told DCN that the property was in poor shape prior to the renovation, which has since allowed a seven-member family to occupy the house, while the owner operates the Tiam House coffee shop on the ground floor. The renovated shop opened last fall.

“The vertical louvers and glass wall covering the house is like a vague partition between ‘in and out,’ bringing people inside the house closer to nature and to other people in the streets,” the firm stated in a description shared with DCN. “The louvers not only help [reduce] heat radiation but also create light effect and geometrical rhythm.”

coffee shop street

Photo by Quang Dam, courtesy of NKAA.

The design of the minimalist cafe follows the principles applied to the living areas above, with an eye on maximizing open space.

“The cafe on first floor was designed with the same elements and materials like the rest of the house,” the firm stated. “Long curved tables, slim and transparent chairs [placed] in such a minimal and monochrome space make all other colorful objects noticeable. Moreover, the appearance of people drinking and chatting in the cafe make it a lively and beautiful scene.”

Tiam House is located just on the eastern edge of the ThaiBinh Stadium (Sân vận động Thái Bình) in central Hue city. 

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