The high finish of the three dining outlets on the 102nd floor at the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong was achieved through working closely as a team between the Japanese interior design firm, SPIN Design Studio and the interior contractor, B.S.C. Contracting. As a division of B.S.C. Group (one of Asia’s foremost and largest building supply distributors), B.S.C. Contracting utilized their specialized project management expertise to fulfill this complex project.
SPIN’s principal, Yasuhiro Koichi is renowned for the meticulous approach to design that he applies to every project. “I think that B.S.C. had a very difficult time applying my attention to detail, especially with the very fast contract time,” says Koichi. “Fortunately, despite my demands on detail, B.S.C. had an approach very similar to ours and was able to comply to make the project successful for Ritz-Carlton.”
Attention to Detail
Koichi is well respected for his no compromise stand on his interpretation of luxury—often convincing the owner about his principles and business arguments that good design, quality products and materials are imperative to the success of the project. An advocate of providing a full design service, Koichi is driven to provide something truly original for the client on each and every project. Clients are confident of Koichi’s strength in looking at the design from a practical standpoint in addition to the aesthetic perspective.
His firm belief in his design forms the basis of his confidence in making each of his projects achieve strong ROI for their owners. “We take a holistic approach to all our design projects,” says Koichi. “When we do the concept designs I already have a very clear idea of what the furniture and the lighting will be like and I design all the elements myself to achieve the correct ambiance.”
The company philosophy for all their projects around the world is to pay respect to the country, the environment and the architecture as well as to its culture, materials, history and technologies. These are reinterpreted in a modern way so that classic styling is imbued with contemporary taste.
The Lounge & Bar
Koichi’s approach to designing all the elements, including the lighting and furnishings, ensures that all the projects that he works on are unique and fulfill the desired requirement for the owner. It is his principle to stick to his philosophy which is why he is in such a demand throughout the world.
While this design philosophy is quite strong, Koichi understands that every project owner has their own thoughts and philosophy too and listening and incorporating these into the SPIN philosophy is essential in creating unique venues.
“We are very particular about materials and details,” says Koichi. “Even down to a single millimeter we pay meticulous attention to the quality and genuineness of the materials that we use.”
Lighting rates very high on SPIN’s design philosophy. Each project is imbued with Koichi’s ideas using architectural lighting, indirect lighting and the specialist lighting such as the chandeliers and floor standing lamps that he individually designs for each project. How to express this lighting and portraying the ambiance he desires is a very keen essence in his design.
One thing Koichi doesn’t like to do is what he calls ‘hip-hop’ design. He prefers to respect and understand the history of the project and then he tries to fuse the contemporary with the classic taste.
Working within the architecture of the Ritz-Carlton, SPIN were given the whole 102nd floor and had to balance the view with the architecture. This floor had full height glass from which the natural light would penetrate in different manners from outside. Also, the view changed considerably from different angles. All these factors were computed to ensure that the interior design fully exploited these natural elements to enhance the guest experience and creating an emotional bond.
Tin Lung Heen
Quality was also an extremely important factor for the interior design materials and consideration of the international image of the Ritz-Carlton had to be also incorporated.
During initial discussions with Ritz-Carlton regarding the Italian restaurant, Tosca, they were more inclined toward smart-casual than fine dining. Fine dining was decided on but despite this the furniture is more inclined toward the smart-casual with a light ambiance and color moods to complement and not compete with the restaurant’s view.
The use of natural and artificial light changes the casual dining experience during the day to a more formal one in the evening. Two water features and a waterfall as an art installation are the focal points and installing them to the exacting tolerances needed was one of the many achievements handled by B.S.C.’s craftsmen.
In the Bar & Lounge, the focus is on fire adding an element of warmth and passion. The SPIN-designed chandeliers act as ‘chimneys’ to the fireplaces adding dramatic focus that ties the concept together.
For the Chinese restaurant, SPIN had to bear in mind its location in Hong Kong. How to compete and differentiate this restaurant with the many thousands of restaurants in the city? Koichi incorporated the advantage of having a seven-meter high ceiling to take full advantage of the view.
Color features heavily in Chinese culture and the colors in the Chinese restaurant reflect this. It can also be seen in the colors chosen for the Italian restaurant. The entire floor is connected as one space and in between the Italian, Chinese and the Bar there are no particular borders, but guests can still make out the outlets because of different color elements.
Tin Lung Heen (Private Rooms)
Koichi took one year from initial consultation to signing off on the detailed design documents, a luxury that most other design firms do not have. B.S.C. then took just three months to deliver the shop drawings and another five months to complete the interior construction. B.S.C. were able to efficiently comply with the rigorous schedule whilst delivering the excellent craftsmanship and design details demanded by SPIN.
That indicates the outstanding capacity of B.S.C., because they were able to finish in such a short time with such a high level of detail especially considering the site had so many other disciplines working simultaneously on adjoining works. B.S.C. coordinated with the owner, hotel operator, building contractors, the other interior design firms and consultants on a daily basis until completion.
“The project management and dedication provided by B.S.C. allowed us to complete the project according to schedule,” adds Koichi. “This was especially beneficial considering the condition of the site and the safety and contractual requirements that we needed to adhere to.”
The dedication shown by both SPIN and B.S.C. has ensured that the Ritz-Carlton was provided with quality dining facilities befitting the world’s highest hotel.
Koichi concludes: “Working as a team between designer and contractor has proven a great success for the client.”
Tin Lung Heen (Private Rooms)
PHOTOGRAPHY: SPIN Design Studio