Smack Dab at JW Marriott Hanoi

greymatters completed the Smack Dab bar at the JW Marriott Hanoi to redefine perceptions of what a hotel bar should be by pushing the definition of “cool”.

  • Year 2018
  • Location Hanoi, Vietnam,
  • Smack Dab, one of Hanoi’s newest and hippest bars, very nearly never existed at all.

    Early on in discussions with the hotel it became clear the project was morphing into a very different beast entirely. Cue a very quick revision of what they’d been designing. The hotel had strict stipulations that anything built adjacent to the magnificent Carlos Zapata Studio-designed main hotel building had to be temporary – this needed to be taken into consideration.

    During one of those early meetings, Barr rendered a quick sketch – and within days it had become a reality. The team set about thoroughly overhauling the structures to suit their new, altogether hipper, purpose. Now the team had a blank canvas to work with, greymatters had to settle on how to make sure the space flowed with the restaurant they were designing next door. They were already working  with Back’s team on a ‘Tiger Meets Dragon’ concept for his restaurant, and decided to take it across and through the containers. But how?

    Inside the containers, the team worked to create a sense of cool, urban chic, something just as ‘at home’ in trendy Soho, Brooklyn or Shoreditch as in downtown Hanoi.

    Most gratifying of all is the fact the bar has become a favourite hang-out for local Hanoians. Two years on from opening, it’s still amongst the city’s top venues.

    Design: greymatters
    : Adisorn Ruangsiridecha