From the Sun, with Soul
De La Sól by Sun Life logo, identity and spatial design X The Lab Saigon
Established in 2022, De La Sól emerged from Sun Life's strategic expansion plans in Vietnam. The decision to create this sub-brand aimed to fulfill a dual purpose: to not only bolster their presence in the Vietnamese market, but also to encourage community engagement and artistic growth. The Lab Saigon, with their expertise in branding, architecture, and design, played a pivotal role in this venture. The collaboration culminated in the creation of De La Sól, a space that mirrors Sun Life's values, while also asserting its own unique presence as a landmark in Saigon.
What exactly is De La Sól?
This intriguing concept stands for both Sun Life Vietnam's flagship location and a mixed-concept space nestled in the heart of Saigon. In the context of branding, a flagship refers to a prominent establishment that highlights the best of what a brand can offer. As a symbol of the brand's values and identity, a flagship with landmark features can make a lasting impression and elevate brand recognition. Flagship locations, as demonstrated by De La Sól, can also be versatile spaces accommodating a variety of uses. By combining a flagship with a fluid mix of an exhibition hall, cafe lounge, and client experience center, Sun Life distinguishes De La Sól from traditional corporate spaces. This unique value proposition draws a diverse audience and nurtures meaningful connections within the community.
De La Sól, Shadow Lounge, and the Sun Life client experience center together create a powerful ecosystem that promotes synergy and collaboration. The name De La Sól, meaning "of the sun," corresponds directly with the word "sun" in Sun Life, emphasizing the strong link between thethe parent company and its sub-brand. The sister F&B brand, Shadow Lounge, also reinforces this connection by referencing shadows cast by sunlight. This clever naming strategy highlights the brands' interdependence and shared vision, while also creating a cohesive identity that resonates with their target audience.
When it comes to De La Sól's identity, the first thing that catches the eye is the logo design. This bold square logotype is filled with artistic typography that seems to draw inspiration from post-war typefaces such as Haettenschweiler, Impact, and Helvetica Inserat. These typefaces, known for their high x-heights, give the logo a bold, attention-grabbing confidence. What's fascinating is the adaptability of this typography in the animated versions of the logo, where it takes on different forms with varying letter heights and weights. This flexibility in the logo design cleverly underscores De La Sól's brand principles of flexibility, creativity, and innovation.
Another distinct aspect of De La Sól's brand identity is its vibrant lime color, subtly paired with shades of gray. Lime green, bright and vivid, signals a bold and unconventional approach, communicating a fresh, youthful, and innovative vibe that aligns perfectly with the brand's mission to cater to a creative, younger demographic. The subtle gray tones, in contrast, bring balance and sophistication to the visual identity. De La Sól's dynamic and visually captivating brand image can be seen on its social media channels, where each post, image, and interaction is a testament to the brand's commitment to creativity, flexibility, and customer engagement.
In terms of architectural and spatial design, De La Sól spans an area of 1,000 m2, meticulously crafted through a productive collaboration with The Lab Saigon. Drawing inspiration from the concept of growth, this partnership has spawned a unique design that seamlessly blends the preservation of a century-old villa's history and structure with the introduction of fresh elements. A significant part of this approach was the thoughtful material selection, preserving the original brickwork and wooden beams, while incorporating stainless steel for its striking visual contrast and durability in Vietnam's rainy season.
A standout feature of De La Sól is the innovative use of rotating kinetic sculptures—resembling elongated metal trees—scattered around the outdoor deck. Serving as a functional shading solution, these sculptures also function as a visually appealing landmark, embodying the concept of growth. The result is a visually stunning space that is deeply ingrained in Ho Chi Minh City's historical and cultural narrative.
The outdoor deck at De La Sól is a versatile area that accommodates both casual gatherings and more formal events. It is framed by the loop staircase, another remarkable feature of the space. The staircase doubles as a viewing deck, allowing visitors to observe various activities happening below and around it. To add a stunning visual element, the staircase was hand-torched by metal artist Zachary Buehner, achieving an iridescent shine that enhances the aesthetic appeal of the area. Furthering the versatility of the space is a well-equipped atrium that can adapt to the needs of various events. It can be divided into three separate halls or combined into one, providing a capacity to host 100 seated or 150 standing guests. This flexibility allows De La Sól to cater to a diverse range of functions. The seamless integration of these different areas creates a comfortable and immersive experience, inviting visitors to explore and appreciate the many facets of De La Sól.
Since its opening, De La Sól has flourished as an energetic hub for arts and community events. This lively space, enriched by the synergy between the corporate and creative worlds, has become an eclectic gathering spot for a myriad of talents and perspectives. The venue has played host to a diverse range of events, such as "Social Fabric" and "ĐỦ Exhibition" in 2022, and "EVA FantaSee" alongside "EVA Exhibition" in 2023.But the commitment extends beyond just hosting events. De La Sól also offers space rentals and catering services, thereby supporting the vibrant artistic community. De La Sól underlines Sun Life's dedication to human development and the nurturing of creative youth. It's more than a space; it's an embodiment of the company's core values, fostering staff growth and performance in a dynamic setting.
All in all, De La Sól serves as a shining beacon of Sun Life Vietnam's innovation. It's where art, architecture, and business blend seamlessly, creating a vibrant hub for creative activities. It underlines the company's commitment to human development and community engagement. De La Sól is not just a venue; it's a new landmark for corporate community involvement in Saigon.
Creative Director: Tuan Le | Lead Spatial Designers: Hung Le, Tram Dang | Spatial Design Support: Hiep Tran | Lead Strategic Partnership: Anh Nguyen | Strategic Partnership Support: Phuong Anh Nguyen, Gia Minh | Photography: Chimnon Studio, Kho Qua Studio | Brand Videos: gonu film, FINN Studio | Documentation: Xuan Phan, Chuong Pham | Documentation Support: Trang Nguyen, Thien Tuong | Contractor: DB Plus | R&D Consultant: Vietnam Project Architecture Interior, The Lab’s RaD team | Metal Artist: Zachary Buehner