From the 546-room Kerry Hotel to Tate Dining Room and Bar’s new home, Adam White looks at how these projects bring the unique sensibilities of their designers into play
Three new Hong Kong projects bring the unique sensibilities of their designers into play
Interior designer André Fu’s latest project was no simple project. The 546-room Kerry Hotel in Hung Hom opened in late April, billing itself as the city’s first urban resort. And as the first hotel to open on the Kowloon waterfront in more than 20 years, the pressure was on.
André was a strong choice to create the hotel’s aesthetic: he is the creative force behind major properties such as the Upper House in Hong Kong, Singapore’s Fullerton Bay Hotel and the Opus Suite at the Berkeley London.
But one thing that André may not have been ready for was the hotel’s sheer scale. “The vastness of the hotel is, in many ways, contradicting to my design philosophy,” says André, “that’s partly the reason why I was attracted to the project in the first place. I wanted to challenge myself to create a sense of intimacy and to infuse lifestyle qualities into a sizeable hotel.”
To deliver that intimacy, “I deliberately carved the space into intimate pockets,” says André, creating organically shaped furnishings designed to “embrace customers into their own cocoon of comfort.”
But that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t deliver on grandeur. To match the urban resort theme, the hotel’s lobby boasts an 80m-long, eight-metre-high window providing stunning views of ample greenery and the harbour beyond it. Sculptural features deliver a similarly fluid aesthetic.
Upstairs, the Hung Tong restaurant shifts gears to something more intimate. “I wanted to introduce a note of industry,” says André, “a nod to the area’s past as a centre for trade.” The restaurant combines raw brick with warehouse detailing, vintage-inspired armchairs and 1960s window frames, a modern take on the dockyards of old Hung Hom. “This subconscious interplay of modernity and a ‘relaxed’ sense of the resort is key to the experience,” says André.
eye candy André Fu worked with the owners to select over 1,000 artworks for Kerry Hotel, including two statues by Ju Ming. One is situated in the lobby, while the other (pictured here) takes pride of place on the outdoor terrace next to the lobby
picture perfect From top: The hotel’s lobby looks out over the waterfront and lush greenery; a sketch of the lobby from the design process