- Lead Designer:Nelson Chow
- Senior Designer:Alexander Chan, Isabella Ducoli, Zachary Sher
- Designer:Johan Hovgaard Simonsen, Chris Lam, Jonathan Ng, Steffanie Wong, Flora Chan
- Graphic Design:NC Design & Architecture Ltd (NCDA), a107, Entendre Studios
- Contractor:Crownwell Contracting Company Limited
- Custom Lighting Supplier:Ricardo Lighting Limited
- Country:Hong Kong (SAR)
Text description provided by the architects. Discretely perched on a sloping corner in Hong Kong’s famous antiques district, Sheung Wan, Mrs. Pound by NCDA is a small 45 seat (150 m2) speakeasy restaurant & bar that offers a modern and playful spin on an Asian fusion cuisine.
The restaurant’s disguised façade is informed by the fictional narrative of two star crossed lovers who secretly reunite in midlife. As the legend suggests, the restaurant’s namesake character Mrs. Pound was a renowned burlesque dancer in 1950’s Shanghai.
Weary of the limelight, the glamorous femme fatale retires in 1960’s Hong Kong to seek refuge with her childhood love, the married Mr. Ming. An avid stamp collector, Mr. Ming sets up a neighborhood stamp shop as the perfect front to disguise Mrs. Pound’s speakeasy, their clandestine meeting spot.
To gain entry to Mrs. Pound, initiated guests activate a concealed door by pressing a secret stamp hidden within the massive illuminated vitrine. The shop façade slides open to reveal a vibrant pink and green dining space filled with vintage photos and intimate memorabilia that tell the story of Mrs. Pound’s mysterious and extravagant life.
NCDA drew inspiration from the cult film classics of Wong Kar Wai to achieve a hybrid environment that fuses East and West, mixing elements of traditional Hong Kong with a bold vision of the future.
The restaurant is divided into two main spaces: the lower dining area conveys a feminine glamour through the use pink leather banquettes, mirrored marquee lights, pink patterned Chinese tile and delicate gold accents. The upper dining area conveys a rugged masculine counterpoint through the use of diagonal concrete panels, green floor tile, green barstools and colorful atmospheric neon artwork.
The two spaces meet at the bar, where tiles slowly change in color from pink to green highlighted by iconic gymnastic ring lights that add a layer of visual complexity to the space. This complexity extends throughout the bar, where butterflies and other artefacts take the visitor on journey through the lives of Mrs. Pound and Mr. Ming.
At Mrs. Pound, the seamless integration of interior design, furniture, lighting fixtures, graphics, staff uniforms and menu result in a multi-layered sensory and gastronomic experience. Through the synthesis of the vintage references and modern details, NCDA has set a compelling stage for the theater of dining.