Arabica / Saigon Central Post Office / Cafes around Saigon

In the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s District 1, the % Arabica Ho Chi Minh City Roastery offers a thoughtfully designed space in the Central Post Office that combines the area’s historical context with a modern aesthetic. Designed by NKAA Studio, this roastery is the first of its kind for the % Arabica brand in Vietnam.

Photographed by Cafes around Saigon

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Location and Architectural Context

Situated near the Saigon Central Post Office and Notre Dame Cathedral, the roastery is located in one of Vietnam’s most energetic areas. These landmarks, significant to the city’s cultural and architectural heritage, provide a backdrop that influences the roastery’s design.

Arabica / Saigon Central Post Office / Cafes of Saigon
Arabica / Saigon Central Post Office / Cafes of Saigon

Design Philosophy and Execution

NKAA Studio’s approach focuses on integrating traditional and modern elements. The exterior retains traditional materials, preserving the site’s historical character, while incorporating modern touches, such as two glass blocks extending from the interior to the outside. These glass structures house the roasting space and kitchen, making the coffee-making process visible to customers.

Interior and Spatial Experience

The interior is designed to be inviting and engaging. A central pathway, illuminated by natural light through a rattan ceiling, guides customers through the space. Seating is divided into indoor and outdoor areas, with glass partitions providing a sense of openness. Customers can enjoy city views or watch the coffee-making process.

Seating includes % Arabica’s signature stools outdoors and minimalist furniture indoors, reflecting the brand’s focus on detail and simplicity. This minimalist approach enhances the overall aesthetic while maintaining comfort.

Arabica / Saigon Central Post Office / Cafes of Saigon

Materiality and Ambiance

The design incorporates an industrial vibe with white surfaces, stainless steel accents, and an exposed aggregate floor, a material historically used in the region. Wood accents and greenery balance this industrial look, creating a welcoming atmosphere. The choice of materials reinforces the industrial aesthetic and acknowledges local architectural traditions.


The % Arabica Ho Chi Minh City Roastery by NKAA Studio combines traditional elements with contemporary design to create a space that is both historically aware and modern. This roastery serves as a place to enjoy coffee while experiencing a blend of design and culture reflective of Ho Chi Minh City.

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