- Architect In Charge: Nelson Chow
- Design Team: John Liu, Rain Ho, Eddie Wong, Rafael Pardo, Jonathan Ng, Xavier Chow, Linus Kung, Irene Noh
- Text: Catherine Shaw
- Country: Hong Kong (SAR)
Text description provided by the architects. Commissioned to design a VIP Lounge in a luxury shopping centre at the heart of Hong Kong’s busiest shopping district. The brief - to create a relaxing getaway – was conceived by the designer as an airy garden-like, contemporary landscape, taking inspiration from the forms of traditional Japanese Zen garden to create a cocooning escape.
The project covers two distinct areas – the first, a public Sculpture Garden, is a curving ivory landscape to house a florist, a concierge and an exhibition area for seasonal displays. The second – a private VIP lounge, is a space unfolded through a series of wavy walls, creating intimate spaces with a sense of understated luxury.
The entrance to the VIP lounge is marked by a sculptural reception desk with a ceiling feature made of brass and Quatre Saisons Printemps (Four Seasons) marble, this marble has been selected due to its’ unique colours that resembles cherry blossoms.
A sleek 3m-high oxidized brass sliding door leads into an intimate private lounge. The key requirements is to make this space like a secret garden and foster a private yet welcoming environment. A series of undulating curves are recurring motifs and provide an abstract echo of nature. Lines are cut into the plaster of the ceiling in patterns that suggest raked gravel patterns of a sand garden, while organically shaped sconces and tables are designed to mimic rocks in a garden. “I see the arrangement of furnishings as a Zen garden: something fluid that we translate into custom furniture, lighting and sheer blinds that represent this landscape” Chow explains.
The collection of furniture also emphasize a refined mood to cater to its VIP members. The seating are upholstered in velveteen and leather with plump rounded backrests in a palette of warm ivory tones. To foster a private yet welcoming environment, the Serpentine seating is developed to provide pockets of private corners for guests while it is visually connected as a whole. “Curved sofas are not only comfortable; they also create interest and foster an intimate ambience that invites interaction” Chow explains. The center of the Serpentine seating dips down to reveal a miniature moss garden which echoes the larger public sculptural garden.
We believe this project sets a new benchmark for VIP lounges, a world away from the typical traditional private lounge concept. It demonstrates how a confined, complex configuration can accommodate a public space – The Sculpture Garden in a shopping mall – and simultaneously offer a discreet, secluded, dedicated escape – The Pavilion – for VIP shoppers. The two areas are gracefully united through a composition of rounded shapes and voluptuous silhouettes, creating a graceful urbane setting with sense of laid back luxury. Varying heights of curved walls offers different degrees of privacy, creating openness in the garden and intimacy in the lounge. The space and soft furnishings have been designed for maximum flexibility with minimal boundaries and can be rearranged when the lounge is transformed for an event. The design avoids any obvious or simplistic rendering of Japanese gardens, instead providing a sensory homage that incorporates recognizable elements, natural forms and materials such as moss, subtly presented in the abstract forms. The result is a Garden Pavilion which offers a Sculptural, sensual and serene experience, a perfect place to retreat and revive.