Kerry Hotel, Hong KongRebecca Lo • Photography courtesy Kerry Hong Kong • September 11, 2017
The former industrial district of Hung Hom in southeast Kowloon has gradually been going upscale. Although warehouses still abound a short drive inland, the strip along the shoreline is seeing luxury residences and grade-A commercial buildings spring up, including the Kerry hotel, the design-savvy brand within Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio. The 546-room Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong follows successful openings in Beijing and Shanghai, and is the fourth Shangri-La operated property in the city where it is headquartered.
“I wanted to challenge myself to create a sense of intimacy within a large establishment,” notes André Fu, founder of local firm AFSO, who designed the 16-story hotel alongside Hong Kong architect Rocco Yim and AvroKO’s Bangkok studio, which is responsible for the ground floor multi-vendor food hall. “The hotel’s vastness is in many ways an antithesis to my design philosophy and that is partly the reason why I was attracted to take up the protject in the first place,” says Fu. “It was a unique opportunity to explore outdoor terraces adjoining indoor spaces—something distinctive to Kerry Hong Kong.”
Fu set out to “bring together the outdoor landscape with the fluid architecture of the interior,” selecting specific plants that would speak to the hotel’s aesthetic, starting in the arrival where the plants are “more sculptural to evoke a lush envelop,” he says. In the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant and pool deck, rustic textures were introduced for a more tropical landscape, while the terrace Red Sugar Bar is “adorned with wild plantations to provoke an industrial yet rural sensibility,” he says.
Fu marked the entry with a pair of sculptures by Zhu Ming to welcome guests into a 24-foot-tall lobby with arcing full-height, 240-foot-wide glazing. With more than 1,000 pieces of art, the hotel boasts commissioned works by contemporary Asia Pacific artists such as Sacha Cotture, Jinggoy Buensuceso, and Camie Lyons—a focal point that juxtaposes a muted palette of mauve, bronze, and mineral gray with Botticino marble.
Along with Red Sugar Bar, four other F&B spaces punctuate the hotel: Big Bay Café offers cooking pavilions dedicated to different food prep methods; Chinese restaurant Hung Tong is clad with a red brick wall, old school leather chairs, and a neon light installation by artist Adrian Wong, a nod to the area’s buzzing street life; the warm lobby lounge is an inviting retreat in the city hotel; and the AvroKO-designed Dockyard boasts oxidized concrete and plate steel walls, maritime bollards, and weathered wood with red accents.
Along with a 3,000-square-foot presidential suite with a wraparound terrace, more than 60 percent of the spacious guestrooms face the sea with beds oriented to take advantage of the harbor views. For a serene feel, eucalyptus wood mixes with bronze, and mineral blue lacquer. “The hotel experience seeks to celebrate the life of the harbor,” Fu explains, “from the water silhouette that has been adopted as a key motif to the vast al fresco experiences that were created at multiple levels.”