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NC Design & Architecture creates a new Hong Kong classic in Foxglove

by Sophie Cullen on Apr 29, 2016 in Interiors
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© Dennis Lo

© Dennis Lo

Along with live jazz music and good old-fashioned service, the interiors of Foxglove have been designed by NC Design & Architecture to take guests back to a time when the living was easy

The second venture from Ming Fat House, the team behind ever-popular Sheung Wan hangout Mrs Pound, Foxglove is a new lounge-bar that is the very definition of a hidden gem. Cleverly masked behind a frontage that alludes to a gentlemen's umbrella store, upon entering, visitors are transported back in time, to an era when drinks were strong and jazz was the flavour of the month.

"We actually didn't have the idea for Foxglove until we saw the space. It's a very unique space, and it really spoke to us, as in what it needed to become," says Shakib Pasha, co-owner of Foxglove. Pasha says that one of the ways that his team works is by developing a narrative or backstory for the venue. The character behind this opening is that of Frank, an enigmatic world traveller with a penchant for the finer things in life. For Foxglove, the focus is around brandy and vintage spirits, jazz music and old-school charm reminiscent of the 1950s.

Deep ink-blue leather furniture has been created for the central dining and bar area, a colour offset well by smooth white surfaces, gold and brass

Deep ink-blue leather furniture has been created for the central dining and bar area, a colour offset well by smooth white surfaces, gold and brass

Once the team had decided on the story behind the new venture, they approached Nelson Chow from NC Design & Architecture to come up with the design concept. "We had worked with NC Design & Architecture before for Mrs Pound, and they are really good at what they do. We work well in tandem with them, so we gave them the specific elements that we wanted to see incorporated, and then we let them do their thing."

And the firm's 'thing' was to craft a highly cinematic experience for guests, utilising bold colours and highlytextured materials next to an abundance of smooth white surfaces. The interiors are set off by the addition of gold and brass elements which can be seen in custom-made furniture and lighting.

From the street, the venue is cleverly masked by frontage that alludes to a gentlemen's umbrella store

From the street, the venue is cleverly masked by frontage that alludes to a gentlemen's umbrella store

Working within a relatively large space by Hong Kong standards, the project was a considerably lofty task for the designers. "We had a decent space of 4,300 sq-ft to work with, but a ceiling height of only 2.1m. So, basically, we proposed a design that recalls a ship or airline cabin which is low in nature and celebrates its intimate ambience," notes Chow.

Access is via a secret door in the Fox Shop — a walkthrough high-end umbrella boutique — where one touch on a special silver handle offers entry into the space. The main lounge and cocktail bar feature a silver-grey marble top counter that sits at the heart of the space. This is offset by deep ink-blue leather seating for 80 guests, that looks striking beside the sculptural cream lacquered ceiling that wraps around the bar.

This is an excerpt from the “Take the ‘A’ Train" article from the May 2016 issue of Perspective magazine.

To continue reading, get your copy of Perspective.

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