SEESON NKKN Store / Nhabe Scholae
Text description provided by the architects. Our renovation of SEESON’s flagship store is located on the ground floor of an office building on Nam Ky Khoi Nghia street, one of the most important axes of Saigon’s heritage. The block, bounded by the four central streets of Nam Ky Khoi Nghia, Huynh Thuc Khang, Pasteur and Le Loi, is filled with urban sediments, the co-existence of multiple layers of various eras, including French villas, Republic-era buildings, commercial buildings.
The architecture of the building itself is also emblematic of the Modern Architecture movement in South Vietnam in the 60s and 70s, characterized by the combination of concrete materials and a rational, solid framework, an interweaving between the language of Modernism and traditional brise-soleil details.
In such a context, the work of revealing and creating dialogues, or the increasingly rare openings for the memories of the city to emerge, is the architectural intention of the project: to restore the original facade of the building which has been transformed by various interventions of time; to minimize interventions that would affect the main structure of the building; to use natural light as a main element in this mise-en-scène of materials that carry different levels of surface penetration.
Our motivation is to create a break in the urban space, using sound and touch, as we uncover a dimension of memory; to arrest the vacillations of light that is either direct or scattered, brilliant or softly sparkling, as it moves through jagged or transparent surfaces; to evoke the vibrations of the body as it moves through a dream world between the virtual and the real.