June 1, 2010

Business With Pleasure: Hong Kong’s East Hotel by CL3 Architects

A certain kind of businessman just might be persuaded to curl up in the Eero Aarnio Bubble seat dangling from a chain in half the suites at the East hotel. But what is a fuchsia resin tyrannosaurus doing in the living area? “It’s a bit unusual,” William Lim admits.

Business With Pleasure

His CL3 Architects designed the interiors of the 32-story Hong Kong property, the flagship of Swire Pacific’s innovative brand of “business hotels with life,” he says. The 345 guest rooms eschew the typical shoebox shape with windows on the short end. Instead, most rooms maximize the amount of glass facing Victoria Harbour. Enhancing the spaciousness, there’s no bathroom per se; only the toilet and shower are enclosed. Flip a switch, and light fixtures under bedside tables start to glow.

To energize the plain surfaces over the beds, Lim had sheets of vinyl printed and applied to the walls. Signage on the res­taurant windows is also vinyl. In the restau­rant bar, vinyl film with a blackened stainless-steel sheen wraps paneling to create a con­trasting backdrop for a flutter of orange-painted steel butterflies. And vinyl digitally printed with a white-on-black tree graphic is stretched over a light box in reception.

Reception’s cantilevered desk, a slim white oblong of internally lit solid-surfacing, contrasts like yin and yang with the apparent haphazardness of the nearby staircase: Its crisscrossing timber elements recall Herzog & de Meuron‘s “bird’s nest” stadium 1,200 miles away in Beijing.

Photography by Nirut Benjabanpot.

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