Gilles & Boissier designs its first luxury residential project in Hong Kong
Located in the leafy south of Hong Kong Island, Tai Tam Road is dotted with many of Hong Kong's most exclusive, high-end residences. But the gate for Tai Tam 45 is easy to miss. Developed by Hong Kong-based National Properties, the residential complex is at the end of a 200-metre private driveway. The seven detached limestone-clad villas each comes with five en suite bedrooms, an elevator and a private heated pool that looks out over the ocean.National Properties commissioned renowned interior designers, including Parisian power couple Patrick Gilles and Dorothée Boissier, who are best known for their work for New York's Baccarat Hotel and the Mandarin Oriental in Marrakech.
Perspective visited one of two Gilles & Boissier houses at Tai Tam 45 on a sunny spring morning. It was the perfect day to showcase the house, with warm natural light filling the living room and unobstructed views of the South China Sea, shared by all seven villas.
"Timeless elegance and high-quality design is the philosophy of our company," notes Loewe Lee, managing director of National Properties. "In a rare situation as such, the view should become part of the house."
The residences make good use of their high ceilings, large windows and a generally neutral palette to bring the scenic outdoors inside and create an uninterrupted view. "The beauty of all the houses is when you open all the curtains and windows, everything disappears," adds Lee.
The mix of materials and style brings a richness into the space, transporting you from a neoclassical exterior into a stylish entry with a black-and-white tiled floor
Building on the excellent location, Gilles & Boissier's interiors are an amazing concoction of the couple's contrasting aesthetics, mixing contemporary chic with timeless and classic detailing. Gilles, present on the day of the visit, described his design approach: "You are not obliged to be fully dressed in Dior. With the same ingredients, we can play and we can do different things."
The mix of materials and style brings a general richness into the 440sqm (4,750sqf) space, transporting you from a neoclassical exterior into a stylish entry with a black-and-white tiled floor. In the spacious living room, the flooring changes to herringbone dark wood, elegantly bordered by a marble skirting that connects seamlessly with the classic panelled walls.
"Right here, we almost create a bridge between Europe and Hong Kong [style], between the supermodern and the super-classic," says Gilles."We need to find the balance that fits the mood, to be correct with what we have. We want to create something that is luxurious, but not ostentatoire, or over-the-top."
Speaking about the duo's creative process, Gilles admits that being partners both at work and at home can be challenging. "If you ask me, there are certain masculine elements that I think exist here: the darker colour palette, having brass patinated… but if you ask my wife, she would say the complete opposite. She would go for more patterns, more colourful. We are different. Sometimes we fight a bit, but when the fight is over, we always agree."
While their eclectic creativity is celebrated around the world, design is a preference that is entirely personal: The duo strongly believes in leaving room for the imagination of the future inhabitants. "It's a big base, with a strong personality, but not too strong," says Gilles. "There is possibility to adjust. If the guest decides to change the positions of the furniture or bring another brief, it will be easy. It's not a dictateur (tyranny) of space. It's just one answer among 10 different possibilities. The most important is the feeling when you are here, the sensation. People will come, some will have the money to have this kind of property but they might be used to another kind of design. You have the base here and once you start adding things to it, it becomes a home."