March 4th, 2013 – In the heart of Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay district, the Pak Loh Restaurant has famously served up Chiu Chow style Chinese food for the past 45 years. When the owners of Pak Loh decided it was time to revamp the space, they called in local designer firm LEAD to head up the project.
The scope of the project involved the creation of a new facade, VIP dining room, and a new lounge. The owners wanted the new facade to grab the attention of people passing by. LEAD rose to the challenge of attracting new eyes when they moved the luxury VIP area with a velvet draped theater up to the front of the restaurant near the street window, then created a visually playful entrance using transparencies and reflections.
Hundreds of CNC-milled bamboo fins are outfitted along the walls and ceilings, the fins, mixed with a series of reflective mirrors created visually stimulating aesthetic that the owners of Pak Loh were looking for.
All the fins are CNC (computer numerically controlled) milled from a flat sheet and can thus easily have accurately cut curved edges. The back surfaces on which these fins were mounted are also made from flat sheet material, which has been grooved in particular areas to allow it to be bent. This method reduced the geometric possibilities there to single curved cylindrical or conical surfaces. These complex surfaces were strategically used only in the corners of the room, where they were combined with built-in lighting.
Inside the VIP-room the back-surfaces are finished with a dark blue fabric, which contrasted starkly with the light colour of the bamboo finishing of the fins, allowing the geometric patterns to emerge more strongly. The separation of discreet building elements as columns, walls and ceiling is abandoned as the undulating ceiling blends in fluidly with columns and walls through slumped edges of which the effect is amplified with the use of mirrors. Structure, lighting, television, and air-conditioning are built into the fin-system to provide an undisturbed spatial continuity.
The concealed window behind the façade allows a filtered connection of the VIP room’s interior with the street, while the corridor window with gradient transparency print provides privacy to the diner party while the ceiling pattern is allowed to continue.
Photography By Dennis Lo
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