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THE SUITE LIFE

by Gabriella Lee on Jun 24, 2011 in Architecture , Interiors , Lifestyle
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classid="clsid:38481807-CA0E-42D2-BF39-B33AF135CC4D" id=ieooui> Ovolo goes the extra step with a new West Kowloon hotel

Ovolo is best known for its serviced apartments throughout Hong Kong, so one might ask what is different about a new 63-suite hotel the group has opened in West Kowloon. For starters, there is its location, and then the design of the serviced apartments, geared to family life as well as business and convenience. Paul Kember, director and senior architect of K plus K Associates, and Gaurang Jhunjnuwala, business development executive at the Ovolo Group, talk PerspectiveGlobal about how it all came about.

Please tell us about designing a theme for an entire hotel.
Key design considerations were:

  • Rebuild the space with light Wherever possible we perforated the walls to allow in more light and connect with the outside, with larger windows, lowered window sills and no balustrading.
  • Create interconnectivity We chose to use sliding doors to the bedrooms, so that when not in use, the doors could be left open as residual interconnected spaces with the living room.
  • Choose living Living rooms were prioritised, with all other spaces – bathrooms, bedroom, pantry – reduced to their bare functional necessity to create as large a space as possible to relax and socialise.
  • Avoid the morning bathroom roadblock The bathrooms were designed to allow the potential of three people using different regions of the bathroom at the same time.
  • Communal facilities The first floor was given over as an extensive guest lounge, to be open 24/7. It functions as a social zone and impromptu work space, with food and drinks at hand, comfortable seating environments and interchangeable music settings.

What sort of lifestyle does this project cater to?
The demographic is mainly business people, both international and mainland Chinese. The client wanted to provide affordable ‘business family suites’ to contrast with Ovolo’s existing portfolio of mainly studio and one-bed suites. Every suite was therefore developed to offer either two or three bedrooms, allowing for multi-occupancy communal living on a budget.

Were any aspects of the design geared specifically for a service apartment?
All of these suites themselves are geared towards a comfortable living for the guest, whether that is deemed as a monthly, weekly or daily stay. All of the suites feature a direct telephone line to the suite itself, eliminating the operator at the hotel desk, allowing your suite to really function as your home. Additionally, the carefully designed separate spaces of living, kitchen and bed rooms allow the unit to be segregated. 

What other design elements should be noted?
Ceilings were set as high as possible with exposed slabs finished in highly textured paint in pale grey and dark earth tones. A zero VOC mineral-based Kiem paint was used throughout on the walls and beams, providing a better environment to breathe in. The colour scheme was therefore mineral white with muted oranges and browns as accents.

 

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