Located in the heart of Central, Hong Kong, Murray Building is one of the eight historic landmarks recognised by the Conserving Central initiative, introduced by the HKSAR government in 2013. After a redesign and 45-month redevelopment by Foster + Partners, the building, nearly half a decade old, has come to life again as a luxury hotel – The Murray, Hong Kong. It forms part of the Wharf Hotels.
Designed by Ron Phillips in the 1960s, the building is regarded as pioneer of sustainable architecture and has won numerous awards for its groundbreaking and energy-efficient design. All of the signature features of the Murray Building, including the facade, the imposing three-storey arches, the car ramp and distinctive recessed windows, have been preserved.
Speaking to Perspective at the opening event in December, Phillips, who was consulted about the renovation, described his first impression of the hotel as "mind-blowing". "It's amazing to see how the building has been transformed into a luxury hotel after almost 50 years," he said.
The hotel has undergone some significant redesign by the British architectural firm. It offers some of the city's most spacious rooms and suites, with more than 75 per cent at 50sqm or more. The guestroom windows have been enlarged to provide spectacular views of the city and nearby green areas.
The studio also developed new outdoor spaces, providing a green oasis for both guests and the public to enjoy, with multiple accesses that connect to the surrounding areas.
The hotel offers five F&B outlets, including Guo Fu Lou the Cantonese restaurant and Popinjays. Located at the top floor, Popinjays has been transformed into a 120-seat lifestyle and entertainment space with indoor dining area, a private dining room, a bar and a rooftop terrace, which Colin Ward, partner of the studio, describes as the most expensive part of the building, but one deserving of an upgrade.
The Murray will be in soft-opening in mid-January and is now accepting reservations for stays from January 15.