Years of Design
From luxury boutique revamps to graphics systems for shopping malls, Atelier Pacific’s work is all about making a connection, founding director Nic Banks tells Catherine Shaw
I formed the company to work on private design commissions while I was completing my master’s degree in England. It was serendipitous because, at the time, I had no idea that after moving here while working with Norman Foster, I would make Hong Kong my home and would run a studio of 25plus people with my fellow director, Glory Wang.
2. a focus on ultrasophisticated retail and office spaces has become central To your work. what is driving This sector? Much of our design work involves engaging creatively
ATELIER PACIFIC’S PROJECTS INCLUDE: One of Hong Kong’s graded historic buildings, the Fringe Club, in Central with clients who are looking to add value to their properties, or simply “stay ahead” of a fast-changing market. In the retail sector, this often means serving a new generation of millennial customers who are more interested in authenticity than formulaic or cosmetic luxury. If we had to sum it up in one key design word, it would be “provenance” because everything we create must be relevant and make a real connection.
3. what have been The most valuable lessons you’ve been able To Take from your different Projects? We work on many different types of projects, from High-end luxury diamond jewellery boutique Graff luxury boutiques and flagship showrooms to creating sophisticated graphics systems for public spaces like K11’s shopping malls and Hong Kong’s M+ visual culture museum. Many are incredibly complex projects calling for rigorous administration. We’ve found our investment in highly efficient in-house communication has freed us up to focus on creativity across all designs.
4. who is your Typical client? We are just as likely to advise a single building owner on how to refresh several floors of a commercial building as we are to create pointof-sale design manuals for international brands. Some designs are completely new-build, while for others, such as the new Canton Road Fendi store, it is about ensuring their design concept becomes a reality within Hong Kong’s challenging building regulations.
5. what’s in The Pipeline That you’re looking forward To working on? To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we’ve just published our second book showcasing our newer projects. We’re also about to help create a very distinctive new contemporary jewellery store at the Mandarin Oriental, opening just in time for Christmas.