Commissioned to design a VIP Lounge in a luxury shopping centre at the heart of Hong Kong’s busiest shopping district, local practice NC Design & Architecture drew from the design and sensibility of traditional Japanese Zen gardens to create a sinuous, cocooning landscape of undulating forms and natural materials that immerses visitors into a sense of soothing opulence. Named 'The Garden Pavilion', the project re-invents the concept of a private lounge as a sensual and serene experience whose sculptural design is a paradigm of discrete luxury.
The project comprises two distinct zones, both steeped in ivory hues, undulating curves and organic motifs: a “sculptured garden” accessible to all visitors, comprising a concierge, florist and exhibition space for seasonal displays, and a private VIP pavilion. NCDA Principal, Nelson Chow, conceived both zones as an abstract echo of nature, completely eschewing the use of straight lines, embracing instead an architectural language of rounded shapes and voluptuous silhouettes for both the interior and furniture design – most of the furniture was designed especially for the project. The result is a series of sculptural spaces that abstractly harness the soothing ambience of Japanese gardens.
Entering the lounge through a sleek 3-metre-high oxidized brass sliding door, the private lounge is a veritable “secret garden” that unfolds as a series of spaces where curved walls in varying heights offers different degrees of privacy. Ripple-like lines cut into the plaster of the sculpted ceiling bringing to mind the raked gravel patterns of sand gardens, while organically shaped sconces and tables appear as rocks. The contouring lines in the ceiling are also picked up in the design of the carpets and the serpentine seating which providing private corners for guests and pockets for miniature moss gardens - the latter echoing the larger public sculptural garden outside. Upholstered in velveteen and leather with plump rounded backrests in a palette of warm ivory tones, the “curved sofas are not only comfortable”, Chow explains, “they also create interest and foster an intimate ambience that invites interaction”.
The muted ivory toned colour palette is complemented by the use of materials like brass and marble: a custom-designed desk at the entrance softly glows courtesy of its hand-painted oxidised brass finish, while a richly hued marble named Quatre Saisons Printemps (Four Seasons Spring) from the Pyrenees in France is used for door handles and table tops because of its resemblance to cherry blossoms. In conjunction with the filtered daylight, soft curves and soothing colour palette, such details make for a truly sensual and serene experience.