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Online Exclusive - InterContinental Hotel, Hong Kong

May 9, 2013

By Erinn Waldo

“Creating a design that captures the energy of the harbor was key to developing some of our underpinning design concepts,” says designer Charlotte Varley of Hong Kong-based Woods Bagot, the firm charged with redoing the InterContinental Hong Kong’s lobby, lobby lounge, and ballroom.

“The client felt it important that the guests experience a unique sense of arrival as they enter the lobby,” adds Varley, senior associate of Woods Bagot. “The design needed to be a subtle enhancement to the existing facility, rather than an overpowering new design that would compete with the iconic views.”


A view of the harbor is seen through wraparound, three-story plate glass windows in the lobby lounge; wall detailing was inspired by the vertical skyline beyond. “The strong vertical reflective metal fins and vertical detailing reference the distinctive Hong Kong skyline,” says Varley. An angled and pleated bronze skirt lines the reception and concierge counters. Reflecting the natural light, champagne gold polished metal adorns satin walnut walls.


Taking cues from the harbor sunset, shades of bronze, gold, champagne, and silver warm the interior in the evening. Golden, C-shaped lamps and wavy patterned, aubergine fabrics furnish the space, while a wave pattern outlines the curved banquets, and wavy contours create a textual effect on the carpet.


“The shapes and forms were developed from the studies of the flow of water in the harbor,” says Varley. “The wave patterns developed for the carpets reflect the movement of water.”


Stemming from the same water concept, the hotel’s ballroom design exudes positive energy with circles. “Eight in Chinese culture represents good luck,” says Varley. “The associations with the infinity form are used to enhance the positive Feng Shui of the ballroom.” To that end, concentric circles and figure-8s appear in the floor and aluminum chandeliers⎯⎯representing positive energy flow, harmony, unity, and eternity. The carpets symbolize joy with a blend of red and orange tones.


Lighting, metalwork, and furniture were all locally sourced and manufactured. “From a design viewpoint we feel the biggest achievement was delivering a design that utilizes simple and understated materials available at a reasonable cost and manufactured within close proximity of Hong Kong,” says Varley. “We feel even with this simple and understated palette of materials a high impact design has been achieved.”

hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



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