Located on Third Street in Hong Kong’s trendy Sai Ying Pun area, Potato Head Hong Kong, the second international outpost from Indonesian hospitality and lifestyle group PTT Family showcases Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto’s distinctive design—a deft mix of contemporary and traditional influences through lightweight metal fixtures with heavy crafted teak wood. A previous winner at Perspective’s 40 Under 40 Awards, the project marks the architect’s first build in the territory.
In designing the façade, Fujimoto takes simple exterior glass panels and applies a pattern that echoes traditional Hong Kong window frames, which covers the entire structure. From a distance, the venue appears as a strong, white glowing object. Only upon approach, does it reveal its intricate pattern.
The bar area is a colourful and tropically inspired space that most clearly references PTT Family's island home and flagship property in Bali. The vibrant walls and open-plan setup represent the laid-back and optimistic vision of Potato Head. Another signature feature of the brand design DNA is the mix of customised, Indonesian furniture with mid-century classics and antique pieces like the Marcel Breuer leather armchairs.
The interior's piece de resistance is in Kaum, PTT Family's modern Indonesian dining concept, where over 700 hand-painted panels from Toraja flank the ceilings and walls. These panels were made by families of craftsmen and commissioning this number of carvings helped ensure the skill is passed on to the younger generations of the village that made them. While the black colour of the panels is actual paint, the yellow and orange hues are taken from local stones. The timber (kayu uru) used for the panels are also grown locally in Toraja.
Hidden behind Kaum is the Music Room, one of the most unique spaces in Potato Head. Designed to become a hub for the city's record collectors and audiophiles, it conveys the mood of a secret music lounge. It's wood-paneled and deeply insulated interiors provide the optimum listening experience for guests. An entire wall of the room is filled with records as well as the mammoth JBL 4350 speakers.