The Yoga Shophouse is a 1,750 sqft 2-storey conservation row-house located on a quiet street just off a popular F&B district. The programmatic brief was for a complete overhaul of the space, which was in its original condition, into a calm and peaceful pied-a-terre with ample space for a yoga studio, and to allow the owners to host guests of up to 12 pax on the ground floor.
Weaving the Client’s brief into the existing house configuration, the open-air atrium was enclosed to claim more interior space, and to allow natural light from the air well to illuminate the interior spaces. We covered the open-air atrium with a large sheet of glass, designing details for a skylight that enabled the hiding of window mullions and structural frames, leaving a 2.5m x 2.5m clean and pure opening with a view of the sky. Originally a 4 bedroom residence, we opened up the space to a 1 bedroom with an expansive yoga studio that occupies the mezzanine, overlooking the double-height living room and atrium.
The rest of the house was designed clean and unembellished to allow the qualities of the space and materials to speak for themselves, carefully balancing fragments of the existing condition of the house with new walls and ceilings.
An eclectic fusion of styles, cuisines, cultural influences, traditions and urban settings was the inspiration and starting point for the dark and masculine design for Ando restaurant in Hong Kong.
The concept referenced the area in which the 30-seat Ando is located – the famous, often crowded restaurant and bar district Lan Kwai Fong in Central, Hong Kong. Much construction and development has taken place in this dense urban environment in the past decade, and the scheme cuts an imaginary slice of this area’s character by using raw concrete, hammered stone and patina-finished metal as the core materials for the 140 Sqm space. Thick-walled arches and a bulky “chimney” feature that descends from the ceiling to spotlight a sculpture add to the feeling of weight and structural solidity. Subtle surface textures further enhance the dark-hued, industrial feel.
Starting with his Italian and Spanish family background, Ando’s Argentinian chef Agustin Ferrando Balbi furthered his international experience by working in famous restaurants in New Orleans and Buenos Aires. He then honed his craft in several of Tokyo’s Michelin starred restaurants, including Nihonryori Ryugin and Zurriola. Moving to Hong Kong in 2016, he became the head chef at the Japanese restaurant Haku. Balbi brings all of these influences into his variety of fusion cuisine for Ando, his first solo restaurant in which he is also co-owner with the Hong Kong-based global hospitality group JIA Group.
The Cool Hunter – Ando Japanese-Spanish Restaurant in Hong Kong
Design Anthology – Ando’s Interiors Reveal a Slice of Hong Kong