Architecture & Interior Design: James JJ Acuna
Branding Consultant: Olivia Pong
Graphic Design: Rocky Yip and James Woodward of Entendre Studios
Text description provided by the architects. The simple Hong Kong brick-and-mortar shop which opened in 2013, has been de- scribed by DestinAsian 1 magazine as a "1950s American diner", where the "pink-neon logo" and the "retro-tiled floor" suggests a Hong Kong style cafe where "Wong Kar-Wai meets Grease." It is from this basis that designer, James JJ Acuna of JJA / Bespoke Architecture formulated the basis of their second global location, at the 72 Courtyard complex in Bangkok.
Seen as a next-generation version of the destination restaurant in Hong Kong, Acuña, in collaboration with branding consultant, Olivia Pong and graphic designers, Entendre Studio, conceptualised a true-to-Hong Kong, yet non-kitschy representation of the Little Bao brand that looks forward to the world, yet still honours its Hong Kong roots, romanticised through design details and elements which hark back to the glamour of the Old World Chinese cafe and Hong Kong 80's pop nostalgia. The liberal use of two-tone teal hand-glazed ceramic tiles and pink mosaics recall hundreds of Hong Kong's pencil towers which are rendered in similar colours.
Glossy Navy-blue powder coated steel and wire mesh on the project's exte- rior and interiors recall the contemporary hawker stalls which line Hong Kong's streets. To add material warmth to the dining areas, the use of Red Cherry timbers are placed on all ta- ble top surfaces and low dining seats. To ground these intersection of colours stainless steel, chrome, white and grey terrazzo floors, and a grey pigmented formica were placed throughout the project to speak to both the contemporary nature of the brand yet under- pinned by its Chinese roots.