With a dozen narratives spun out of the re-imagined history of a bank building, Mott 32 offers diners an unprecedentedly theatrical dining experience
Located in the basement of the Standard Chartered Bank in Central, Hong Kong, Mott 32 personifies the lives of Chinese immigrants — from its modern Cantonese cuisine to its exquisite yet rustic interior — telling intriguing stories through an extravaganza of dramatic details.
Designed by Joyce Wang, a laureate of Perspective’s 40 Under 40 programme in 2013, Mott 32 gets its name from the address of the first Chinese convenience store in New York — 32 Mott Street — which
went on to become the nucleus for what is now a vibrant Chinatown.
The narrative of Wang’s design at Mott 32 blurs the line between reality and imagination as it weaves a story of the basement of a bank building in Hong Kong and how it has evolved through time.
“We imagined its former life as a storage facility for family heirlooms forgotten by wealthy Chinese immigrants, and later as staff quarters for bank employees and guards,” says Wang, who has also designed acclaimed restaurants such as Ammo and Hay Market in Hong Kong. “We imagined pieces of history were left behind organically.”
Diners are led into the 7,500 sq-ft dining space via a spiraling staircase, where a grand, industrious heavy-metal chain chandelier is suspended from the top, draping all the way to the basement. The stairwell, meanwhile, is clad by faceted mirror panels, gracing the descent with a sense of surrealism. At the base of the staircase, a mirror-topped wait station is created to pay tribute to reflection ponds commonly found in traditional Chinese restaurants.
For more, check out Perspective August 2014 issue.