Behind the scenes on the design of the St. Regis Hong Kong
PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards’ platinum sponsor Kohler invites André Fu, founder of AFSO and renowned designer for the Opera House, to talk on his inspirations behind the design of St. Regis Hong Kong and the future of design post-COVID-19.
According to André, the St. Regis Hong Kong was modelled to represent a curated mansion that celebrated genuine Hong Kong spirit. The high-rise project was styled with cobble pavements, old street lamps, and the old police station elements of Hong Kong that truly served as an inspiration behind the concept of the hotel.
He believes that a space should be designed for customers, which is why he strives to reimagine how guests would feel, breaking down spaces into layers and making each area intimate and comfortable at the same time.
He highlights bathrooms as a focal point in hotel design as it welcomes the guest to relax from their day. Every small detail needs to be positioned in the right place – the mirror must serve its purpose, the tub must be at the right height, and the basin must be well proportioned. Kohler has been a long-term partner in completing his visions ever since the Opera House.
Since the pandemic, adjusting to the ‘new normal’ has become essential to every industry. André narrates a new lifestyle that is extremely contrasting to his life in the past 10 years. Alongside Zoom meetings at all times of the day, he has realised how critical higher quality of work is, seeing as the lack of physical interaction has prevented him from observing his clients’ responses. In the future, he foresees travelling will become less of a requirement, apart from specific on-site inspections and prototype workshops.
With every project André pursues, he shares that ensuring each piece of work has its own identity can be quite a challenge.
“Every time we start a project, I try to question myself on why I took the project in the first place. I’ve taken on brands that take people by surprise. A lot know me through the Opera House, which is calm and minimal,” he said.
“When I decided to work with two iconic brands, The Waldorf and St. Regis, I tell myself not to let people formulate what an André Fu experience should be. I typically look at the hotel brand, the context of the city, different aspects of the city, the energy, and the feeling you’re trying to provoke. I hope they will be surprised in general, but still kind of have that André Fu moment in it.”
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