A mixed materials palette consisting of brick, concrete and fibre cement was used by the architects at a Vietnamese restaurant in Glen Waverley to bring their thoughtful design to life.

Bia Hoi (meaning beer hall) is a popular Vietnamese restaurant that recreates the hustle and bustle of beer halls from the crowded streets of Vietnam. In Glen Waverley, it’s the perfect place to celebrate the punchy flavours and colours of owner-chef Jerry Mai’s food.

Designed by Architects EAT, the bar is the focal point of the space, with street art used to embody the lively vibe, and the blurred boundaries between inside and outside enabling the atmosphere to activate Bia Hoi’s shopfront.

The restaurant is divided into three distinct zones: A homely dining area, alluding to the rustic home aspect of Vietnamese streets, accentuated by greenery, silk lanterns and rustic shutters from Hoi An; a central island bar and mural depicting the urban side of Vietnam; and the shopfront featuring operable doors and windows, creating a transient space for diners outdoors and indoors to enjoy the best of both worlds throughout the year.

Bringing this thoughtful design to life is a carefully chosen materials palette, which Alina Dain, the interior designer at Architects EAT, explains was intended to look a little worn and urban to embody the streets of Vietnam.

“This meant maximising the use of texture through existing concrete floors, feature brick tiles, render, James Hardie Matrix cladding and rustic wall tiles. Then we brought warmth into the space through brick and terracotta pipes to mimic traditional roof tiles and pops of timber,” she said.

The Custom Rustic brick tile blend supplied by Robertson's Building Products Pty Ltd, has been used on the shopfront walls, alfresco area, bar and servery, accentuating the three key spaces in the design.

“I was attracted to the colours and textures in the Robertson’s range, which complement the aesthetic of the space. Using a mix of colours (including Rustic Tan, Rustic Apricot and Rustic Red) allowed us to accentuate the texture of the material and look purposefully mismatched. The thickness of the brick tile gave us more flexibility than a traditional brick in terms of installation, due to the limited depth we had to work with, as well as application and cost,” Dain said.

The combination of brick tiles, rattan, terracotta details, lanterns and metal louvres in a timber-look powdercoat creates a warm, yet worn urban street vibe.

Architects EAT has successfully achieved the perfect balance between design and functionality, delivering a community-focused suburban restaurant where locals can enjoy modern Vietnamese food and boutique beers in a warm, casual and lively atmosphere.

Photographer: Tim Allen; Artwork designed by Studio Equator