(From lower left: Mr Manfred Yuen (PolyU Design), Mr Sjoerd Hoekstra (PolyU Design), Mr Jonas Schuermann (Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong), Mr Byron Wong (Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group), Dr Kacey Wong (PolyU Design), and Mr Horace Pan (PolyU Design).
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) joined hands with the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong in organising the “Hotel of the Future” competition in celebration of the hotel’s 50th anniversary.
A total of 39 year-two Environment and Interior Design students from PolyU participated in the seven-week programme from 25 March to 14 May this year, forming teams to design certain areas of the hotel, including “rooms and suites”, “lobby and reception”, “spa”, “food and beverage outlets” and “function rooms” with the theme of the next 50 years. Their designs incorporated the history of Hong Kong, the surrounding area and the design elements of this iconic hotel which ultimately presents “a sense of place” to the guests.
The shortlisted teams presented their designs to the management of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, the Head of Design of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and the faculty of PolyU School of Design (PolyU Design) on 14 May. Lee Kwok Kwong and Mak Chu Leung were selected as the winning team. With the concept of “Spreadism”, Kwong and Leung elegantly centred on the phenomenon of Chinese ink spreading out in water and on paper. They created a multi-functional zone in the double height area of the hotel with the use of spreading-out ink stones commonly seen in Chinese paintings. The stones are used to form an exhibition area or stage for jazz performances according to the purpose of space, and to allow guests to interact with not only each other but also the space.
“I was truly impressed and delighted to see the enthusiasm of not only the students but also the professors,” said Mr Jonas Schuermann, General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. “What struck me the most was how the students captured the essence of the brand and were able to visually capture what luxury means to today’s affluent travellers.”
“The PolyU Design’s visionary proposals were supported with serious analysis and imagination. The students’ ideas possess ample intelligence with a refreshing sprinkle of innocence,” added Mr Byron Wong, Head of Design of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.
The winning prize is a three-night “Travelling Scholarship” to another iconic hotel in the group, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, where the team will submit a travelling report. The eight finalist projects will be put on display from 1 July to 4 August at the Clipper Lounge and an award presentation will be held at the PolyU Design Annual Show opening ceremony in August.
Education at PolyU emphasises work-based learning experience and collaboration with the industry to help students better appreciate what they have learnt in class, so as to integrate theory with practice, to enhance all-round development and to make better career plans. The teaching team at PolyU Design who led the student project included Horace Pan, Kacey Wong, Manfred Yuen, Peter Hasdell and Sjoerd Hoekstra.
Design Concept of Spreadism:
Spreadism is the movement of Chinese ink spreading out in water and on paper. Spreading out through the techniques of Chinese painting to create a multi-functional space in the double volume located within Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong.
In the future, people can walk around to explore and find their own way in the double volume. During an auction period, the two ink stones will spread out to be an exhibition area to promote the auction items via 3D projectors and LCD walls to portray the imagery and videos of the brand’s history and production processes. At night, the ink stones will gradually transform into an entertainment function space with different coloured lighting.
The journey through this space mimics the animation of ink appearing and spreading out on paper. When a guest enters the lobby, a drop of ink will appear on the floor and gently evolve into a line to guide them from reception to the lift lobby. Once the guest enters the lift, the ink will spread out onto the walls and gently fade away.
Over time, the paper will transform from white to yellow and brown. The use of timber as the main material will be created in a range of yellow, brown and black hues and with a subtle transition of the lighting to provide a sense of warmth and comfort when returning to the guest rooms.
To conclude, the lobby acts as an ink box containing two ink stones which can change and spread out to fulfill the different needs of the user or of the function space. Moreover, in the future, the movement of the ink stones will allow people to interact with not only each other but the space and surrounding environment.