The outlines, which the client gave me before designing were, to place a counter as the back bourn of this dinning bar, and to make guests, especially Japanese people working in Ho Chi Minh City can enjoy Japanese home-style dishes and conversations with bar staffs.
First, I gave importance to a distance between guests and staffs. I thought, if guests can feel a sense of affinity, they would like the place. So the counter must make guests feel sharing one space together instead of making them feel separated from staffs. At the same time, the room seemed to be too large to be composed of a simple counter, so I had to seek an idea.
I tried to look for a shape of the counter to utilize the space and to make both guests and staff feel sharing the space, then finally I got to think of the S shape counter that makes guests and staffs circulate in the space and cross each other. Though this shape looks a bit complicated, the elements that I put were quite simple, so I used the existing uneven floor levels as stairs reshaping on purpose to add a variety, rather than flattening it.
I placed tables on 2nd floor for group guests. I also wanted to reflect this dining-bar’s feature that make guests and staffs enjoy their conversations, for the table seats too. Therefore, I set the differences of the floor levels on purpose. I designed to make a floor level of the table area higher than the counter, so that staffs in the counter can look both of the guests in front of them and at table area behind the counter at same time.
Location : Thai Van Lung, Dist.1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Project name: Dining bar IROHA in Ho Chi Minh City
Designer: Joe Chikamori
Floor area: 1F 87.1 m² + 2F 82.9 m²=170.0 m²
Additionally, I made a floor level of the table seats higher than their aisles, so that the eye levels of a staff on the aisle and guests at seat would be same. The seats for the tables, I made round formed sofas, so that staffs are able to join easily and flexibly.
Photographs: Hiroyuki Oki Decon Photo Studio