2020 GFD 🏆 Awards


Little Saigon, a rice noodle specialty restaurant that first opened in Korea in 1998, offers an uncompromisingly strong, yet refreshing taste by boiling quality meats and bones for more than eight hours to form a broth, which is later mixed with seven medicinal herbs and other carefully selected ingredients.

Special Mention- Global Future Design Awards 2020
Architect/Designer | JUNGBAE SHIN

Category | Commercial Interior Built
Country | South Korea
Photographer/Copyright | ©JUNGBAE SHIN


Rice noodles are one of Vietnam’s most popular foods, and Vietnamese people living in the tropical rainforest region have traditionally created cultural architecture that displays their ethnic roots with tropical woods and natural resources, such as bamboo and silver magnolia. Among other things, Vietnamese people have used silver grasses, straws, and bamboo trees, and we have redefined the brand’s identity to be one inspired by the tradition of Vietnam that represents that traditional lifestyles of its people.

Due to the nature of the mall space, we intended to embrace the openness while focusing on ensuring the customers who use the space do not feel uncomfortable. Thus, we have created a framework ceiling, and the structure was made with a three-dimensional curve to give a rhythmic sense to the space. This three-dimensional structure functionally separates the passageway to provide convenience, and aesthetically the interior space is filled with the shadow of the frames that provide sense of openness.

In consideration of the recent changes in the consumer trends of F&B market, we have partially composed an area with solo diner seats, and we have planned to place them along the wall space using semi-reflective materials to offset the sense of stuffiness. We also tried to arrange the rest of the seats as comfortably as possible for the customers.

The design of the ceiling structure expresses dynamism with the sequenced 3D curves, the wall made of reflective, organically changing materials, and the finishing touch of bamboo wood that embodies tradition all reflect the ambience of Vietnamese sentiment. In this way, we have divided the materials according to the layout of space to symbolically express Vietnamese sentiment.

The overall colors were delicately expressed in a restrained tone of wood. The space that reconstructs Vietnamese traditionality in a modern way is established with a single tone, but we differentiated the materials such as wood, metal, round bars, frames, and their expressions, making the wall, which is seen between the frames, appear spatially different depending on the viewing angle.

Coriander, commonly used as a food ingredient, is being grown to convey the unfamiliarity of Vietnamese food, and the repeated linear design of the structure on the ceiling, which signifies the rice noodles or is reminiscent of bamboo sticks, can also be seen through the furnishings.

As represented through these design choices, Little Saigon has devoted itself to make spatial, aesthetic, and functional efforts to convey authentic tastes of Vietnamese food to its customers. The expression of a classic tone, the harmony of dynamic lines, and the vividness of the plants involved carry on the theme.

We hope the customers will enjoy their bowls of rice noodles made with the sincerity of Little Saigon, recreated with welcoming comfort and a refined image.