The brilliant new multi-purpose space in Thao Dien is open and ready to stimulate as many human faculties as possible. There are three things that Albert Van Der Westhuizen, executive director of the revamped Factory space, wants everyone to know about.
The food and beverage programme here is based upon the “art of healthy eating and drinking”. The menus will blend seamlessly with the concepts presented in the exhibitions on display. This is not your average gallery with a cafe attached. This is a full-on kitchen, with mad men and women behind the wheel that want to take us on a ride. Albeit a healthy, environmentally-conscious one. The menu will be vegetarian and vegan-friendly, but will still offer animal products.
Factory’s flagship coffee brand, to be announced, utilises local Dalat beans in order to focus on support of Vietnamese minority groups. The baristas grinding and pouring this coffee are well educated, and love spreading coffee knowledge to anyone that wants to learn.
Kitchen – District Two is an independent brand that aims to spread all across Vietnam preaching and practising “homemade, sustainable, organic” concepts. At The Factory, this will consist of integration of the space with the menus of food, cocktails, and coffee. The concept is loosely based on the dynamic food scene in Melbourne, Australia, somewhere that Van Der Westhuizen feels has captured something unique about food service. This is also a major point. They have spent countless hours with the staff developing a service-minded establishment.
Van Der Westhuizen had this to say about the space: “We decided to make the first purpose-built contemporary arts centre in Vietnam. We wanted to make a creative hub, so people will come here to spend a few hours, but in a multitude of ways. There’s a coworking space called GoWork. The groundfloor is GoLearn, which is related to the workspace, but more of a workshop. Anything where artists want to showcase their talents, or teach classes. There’s a bar/lounge with a retractable roof. We wanted to make a more mystical, “rooftop on the ground” type of space. It all comes together when you’re sitting out there, looking up at the stars.”
“You can be creative here, and everyone can be whoever they are,” Van Der Westhuizen explains. “Whether you want to chill out with your laptop and eat a nice salad, bring some friends over the bridge to have a fantastic meal and check out a creative arts space, or learn a technique in a class from one of our featured artists – all of these things are possible.”
The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre is now open at 15 Nguyen U Di, Thao Dien, D2 . Head to their website: factoryartscentre.com.