Oval Partnership delve into Hong Kong’s past to find inspiration for a playful boutique hotel in the heart of the city. Rik Glauert writes.
It may be a trip down memory lane, but Hong Kong’s new boutique hotel, attitude on granville, is located in one of the Asian city’s busiest shopping and tourism districts, Tsim Sha Tsui.
To immerse tourists in the vibrant culture and heritage of the city, Oval Partnership used iconic imagery, materials and objects from Hong Kong as the cornerstone of their design for attitude on granville.
“Our intention was to produce a design with reference to some of the more iconic aspects of Hong Kong, making this a hotel truly of the city rather than just another international inner city hostelry,” says Patrick Bruce, the Director of Oval Partnership.
Guests arriving at the hotel are thrown back to the city’s 70s’ and 80s’ heyday. The lobby is filled with iconic elements of Hong Kong’s history—creamy white public housing walls, vintage letterboxes, retro pay phones, and a reception desk made out of iconic crates that are commonly seen in local markets.
“Many of the local design icons are the home-grown products of everyday life with widespread relevance and appeal to a broad spectrum of society. Our approach was largely based on the idea of the ‘found object’ as a key component in the design, providing a greater level of authenticity in the design,” Bruce adds.
The fifth-floor reception area is characterised by an industrial feel with an exposed black ceiling and glazed partitions. Graphical artworks by local creatives stand out against rough plaster walls.
The meeting space on the fifth floor is a personal favourite of Bruce. A table and a couple of benches were custom-made out of heavy recycled wood and industrial-grade metal tubing.
Above, the floor area of the 80 rooms and suites range from 15 square-metre to 35 square-metre. These modest sizes would pose challenges to most designers but Oval crafted a local and retro space that remains cosy without feeling cluttered. The design team also opened up the bathroom and bedroom with integrated sliding panels.
The furniture is handcrafted with a rustic feel in raw wood and metal. In keeping with the industrial palette from the lobby, galvanised pipes function as hangers in every room. Handmade patchwork bedspreads, retro Hong Kong school desks and colourful wall tiles complete the homely feel.
The rooms’ wall graphics are curated by One Bite, a local design house known for its interpretation of local cultural icons.
Oval ensured that salvaged materials and handcrafted finishes were applied in a refined manner. “Ironically, the use of salvaged materials and handcrafted finishes also presented challenges in terms of the time-worn patinas, conventionally treated as defects. There was a need to ensure a consistent ‘quality’ in the finished product,” Bruce concludes.