Spearheaded by Ed Ng and Terence Ngan, Hong Kong-based AB Concept has always prided itself on being “storytellers of space”. Christie Lee finds out more.
November 18th, 2014
Top image: (left) Ed Ng and (right) Terence Ngan
Counting the Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons, The Luxury Collection and Hysan as its clients, the 80-head award-winning studio fuses a profound understanding of spatial design with a reverence to locale. It’s a design code that’s best illustrated in the interiors of the recently-opened W Beijing Chang’an, where imperial-inspired patterned walls are deftly offset by bold LED lighting and contemporary furnishings. AB Concept is also opening an office – its third, after Hong Kong and Bangkok – in Taipei. We had a chat with the enterprising duo.
Why open an office in Taipei now?
It’s a logical progression to support our offices in Hong Kong and Bangkok. We first worked in Taiwan for the Far East Shangri-la project in Tainan back in 2008. This experience was a memorable one for us and not only resulted in our first Gold Key Award, but also allowed us to witness the level of attention to details in Taiwan, which really resonated with our company values. Our work is known for intricate craftsmanship and we found this to be abundant in the city.
Do you have different business strategies for Taiwan, Bangkok and Hong Kong?
It’s three locations and one office. We are different from other design studios that have independent offices in every city they are in. Our three offices are actually working on similar types of projects. Setting up offices in different location is a way for us to reach out to the top talents. For us, Bangkok is stronger with FF&E (furniture, fixture and equipment), while Taipei is stronger when it comes to the technical aspects of design. Hong Kong is the head office with the highest number of staff, but Bangkok and Taipei are like arms reaching out from the main hub.
What is AB Concept’s design philosophy?
Each of our designs tells a unique story through a spatial experience that is underpinned by the essentials of architectural precision in space planning and a bespoke sensibility that reflects the artisanal quality and craftsmanship of each project.
AB Concept has a lot of hotel clients. Has it always been the intention to focus on hospitability projects?
It was never our intention but we will take this as a compliment. In addition to hotel projects, we actually design a lot of high-end residential, as well as corporate and retail spaces. It just so happens that hospitality always catches people’s attention first. Obviously it also has to do with the reality that we can publish books relating to these projects – something we can’t do for our residential projects.
What are you working on right now?
We are working on so many projects at the moment! In addition to renovating our offices in Hong Kong, we’re working on an amazing residential project in Nice and Ku De Ta in Hong Kong. We also recently completed the Dynasty Restaurant at Renaissance Hong Kong.
The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed
Asia’s latest Instagram bait – Waka Haiku Setsugekka Japanese Restaurant – by Sun Tianwen of Shanghai design studio: Hip-Pop Architectural Decoration Design Co. (HPADDC) points to hospitality further heading toward the sensory and experiential path of its retail sister.