Pak Loh is a traditional, Hong Kong based family restaurant specialised in Chiu Chow style Chinese food. For over 45 years its highly successful flagship restaurant has been located in the heart of a building block in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay district. Local designer firm LEAD was commissioned to redesign the restaurant’s public entrance area and replace its front ‘Lo Mei food preparation area’ with a high-end VIP dining room / lounge area.
The new VIP room is located in front of the restaurant at the building block’s façade, and is disconnected from the restaurant’s main entrance by a public passageway. Thus, this very small and intimate private room is fully surrounded by publically accessible space. This condition was grasped as an opportunity to engage those passing by in a unique and playful visual theatre: all designed elements work together to create an interaction between Causeway Bay’s busy street-life and the restaurant hidden deep inside in the building block. This happens by working with a continuity of the space’s geometrical elements, by amplifying perspectival views and a by a play with transparencies and reflections. Through the subtle revealing of hints of the VIP dining experience to the outside, potential clients are seduced and enticed to enter the space.
The elegance of the curves, the disappearance of space-limiting elements such as corners or walls through the use of mirrors and fins, the seductive game of exposure and concealment, all work together in giving the VIP room a status of exclusivity. By revealing glimpses of this experience, the space is to trigger curiosity with those who catch a glimpse of what happens inside this intimate, luxurious private room.
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images © Dennis Lo