AB Concept dreams up a tropical-themed adults playground for the newly rebranded Ce La Vi. Christie Lee writes.
It would be difficult for one to imagine a bar or club with its very own permanent jacuzzi in space-starved Hong Kong. Along comes Ce La Vi, the latest addition to an area that is already saturated with glamorous nightclubs and bars. As part of L Capital Asia, the Asian private equity business sponsored by LVMH, Ce La Vi (formerly Ku Te Da) boasts a raft of attractions. Apart from being located smack in the middle of the buzzing Central district, it also enjoys sweeping views of Hong Kong Island and beyond. The space itself is divided into three zones – a restaurant which serves contemporary Asian cuisine, a lounge and a club.
Paying tribute to Ce La Vi’s Balinese origins, Hong Kong-based design firm AB Concept mixes tropical motifs with a vibrant colour palette and bespoke furnishings. “The idea was to create a tropical jungle – or wild escape if you will – [amidst] all the concrete we have in Hong Kong,” explains Ed Ng, co-founder of AB Concepts.
Grey and brown were the foundation colours for the venue, though AB Concept spiked it up with lashes of amber, turquoise and reds. Upon exiting the lift on the 25th floor, where the lounge is, guests are greeted with columns of Asian red discs at the reception area and along the balustrade that leads to the upper floor.
The lounge is furnished with antique mirrors, drop candles and a bespoke tropical themed carpet from Tai Ping. A vertical garden and a ceiling-high decorative pillar of live plants reinforce the tropical theme.
A L-shaped staircase leads to the restaurant, where one’s eye is immediately directed to the elaborate chandeliers that adorn the ceiling. Dubbed ‘green chandeliers’, plants spill out from mother-of-pearl pots that hang beneath ceiling medallions, giving a whimsical twist to the idea of a vertical garden.
Chairs are upholstered in luxurious leather, while the suede banquette is dipped in a sensual purple. The tableware is stylish yet down-to-earth. Near the lifts, wine cabinet portals are wrapped in eel skin that have been dyed bright red. In the rooftop bar, a jacuzzi takes centre stage amid the raft of exotic plants, patio tables made from decked wood and lava stone decoration.
AB Concept has also teamed with London-based Isometrix for the lighting. “Unlike other nightclubs in the area, Ce La Vi is an all-day venue so the lighting system needs to be flexible enough to cater to all sorts of occasions,” notes Ng.
Following the Hong Kong debut, the new Ce La Vi concept will also be brought to Singapore, Taipei and Dubai.