Photos: Giang Vu
I visited The Chapel about three months after it was named the World Building of the Year at the World Architect Festival held in Singapore. The 140-meter structure is situated amongst villas along a small river named Rach Ong Lon in Binh Chanh District, about seven-eight kilometers from the city’s center.
I could have missed it, had it not been for the colorful fabrics hanging down at its front. According to its architect Nguyen Hoa Hiep, the fabrics which are in white, red, green, yellow, and blue allow customers to enjoy the sunlight passing goes through them.
The fabrics were inspired from flags that were traditionally hung at Vietnamese communal houses, he said.
Explaining the name “The Chapel”, the architect said he did not think much about the reasons when designing it. But, perhaps the name was inspired by the space and the quietness seen in both Vietnamese traditional communal houses and Christian chapels, he said.
Whatever the real reasons are, the coffee shop really lives up to its name: bringing its customers serenity - a rarity in this crazily busy city - when they sip a decent cup of coffee and enjoy some Italian dishes at quite reasonable prices.