The design offers a place for guests to escape from the concrete jungle; a hidden gem in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world.
As the lobby naturally receives a high level of traffic, we wanted to enhance its warmth and introduce even more liveliness to the space. We have reworked the concierge and reception areas incorporating advanced technology and breaking the tradition of a long reception counter to disband the barrier between staff and guests to encourage more interaction. The curvature of the lobby enhances the fluidity of the space.
ARGO at Four Seasons Hong Kong is a welcoming day-to-night space that serves breakfast and lunch in addition to being a lively evening bar. With panoramic views of Victoria Harbour, the design is inspired by a conservatory.
Measuring approximately 255 sqm, the bar accommodates nearly 70 seats, which includes the bar area, a VIP room, as well as the main seating area in the form of a banquet is shaped into a semi-enclosed area with a sense of privacy without compromising the openness and the view of the Victoria Harbour. Guests are greeted at the entrance by a floral bespoke wood inlay wall that leads through to the “conservatory”. Sleek curved metal frames are accented with small hanging terrarium pendants and complemented by custom ceramic textured wallpaper, while a customized deconstructed chandelier draws one’s eye to the bar.
Polished nickel silver was used throughout to bring a sense of warmth without ostentatiousness during the daytime, while at night the mirrored finishing works with the soft lighting to create a sparkling ambience. The main seating area features an invigorating minty colour backdrop covered in custom textured ceramic wallpaper with semi-gloss finishes complemented with mirror details and nickel silver curvature structures with mirrored finishing to adapt to different vibes and functions evolving from the daytime to the late night and to convey various experiences.
Addressing the challenge of a large pre-existing structural column that sits in the middle of this view, this has now been transformed into an iconic central point that also encourages guests to explore the bar around it. For this focus feature, we created a number of revolving cylinders that wrap around the column; these open gradually to reveal the lovingly-sourced rare spirits behind as day turns to night. As such, an obstruction to the view has become a striking, signature feature and it also solves the conundrum of creating a space that evolves throughout the day, presenting a varied venue that suits its multiple functions.
The bar’s structural feature column, which measures 2.1 meters in diameter, comprises 136 cylinders measuring from 300 mm to 400 mm wide each, where 72 of them rotate. During the daytime, the cylinders are closed, and as the evening approaches the cylinders revolve gradually revealing the stored rare spirits.
The VIP room resembles a jewel box; mirrors are interspersed with references to flora and fauna, bringing the conservatory concept to life. The VIP Room features artwork by Raku Inoue, featuring hand-crafted paper-sculptures that were made to reflect the beauty of printed Mother Nature with glittering paper insects. The textures of the original sculptures were separated digitally and printed individually on high quality Verona watercolour papers. Afterwards, they were cut-out and then mounted on a base structure to form the shape of the insect. It was the ideal method to recreate the original floral creations without being bound by ephemerality.
The bar takes its name from the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, Argo is the ship on which Jason sails to find the Golden Fleece. Inspired by this story of journey and discovery, the bar aims to serve as a vessel for innovation and exploration, offering a new and memorable experience that truly embodies the destination bar. This world exploration is not only reflected in the cocktails which include ingredients harvested from local and overseas farmers such as coffee, honey, cacao, etc that are at risk of becoming endangered due to climate change.
Four Seasons Hong Kong has received its first facelift since its opening in 2005. Our goal for the revitalization of Argo is to offer a place backplace for guests to escape from this concrete jungle in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world. We always feel the back wall of a bar needs to be the focal point: in its previous incarnation the bar was situated at the far end against a wall, but we’ve always thought the stunning Victoria Harbour would make a perfect backdrop to create a bar that truly reflects its unique location.
The biggest goal for Argo is to make it a destination bar, Hong Kong does have some, but we felt that at Four Seasons Hong Kong there was the opportunity to make this THE place where locals and international visitors want to come for a vibrant and memorable experience. To create a bar that has a journey of feeling, from the light touch of breakfast to the intensity of a late evening hotspot, this is a space that truly evolves from day to night through its design.
Project: Four Seasons
Location: Hong Kong, China
Design Studio: AB Concept
Photo Credits: Chester Ong