Style is everything when it comes to designing serviced apartments for today's mobile executives. The skill is to create spaces that combine unique style and ambience with the standard features and home comforts expected for contemporary city living.
For instance, the guiding principle of Pacific Place Apartments in Admiralty is to give residents a homey feeling of relaxation and privacy. The key is emphasising a Zen essence. It pervades every detail, exemplified in clean forms and lines, while incorporating the most up-to-date appliances and amenities.
'We offer four design options, with contemporary or oriental themes and colour schemes, to meet individual preferences,' says Coco Wong, residential portfolio manager at Swire Properties.
Ovolo, on the other hand, imbibes aspects of the location in the general design concept. 'We aim to reflect the neighbourhood,' says Gaurang Jhunjhnuwala, Ovolo Group's general manager for business development. 'For example, 222 Hollywood Road is inspired by the district's arts and antiques, with specially commissioned artwork and graphics in every apartment.'
This philosophy is spelt out early on to architects and interior designers. It also takes due account of client preferences, providing a choice of distinctive themes and layouts. Where possible, the materials include bamboo flooring, while the best principles of sustainability are applied.
'We want a sense of cohesiveness with the local environment,' Jhunjhnuwala says. 'Typically, guests will check two or three properties in our portfolio. They do notice the different design aesthetics but also appreciate that all the basic amenities are the same. The technology aspect is also very important. We try to anticipate requests for things such as surround-sound speakers, chargers, plasma TVs and movies on demand.'
Pilar Morais, CEO of Chi Residences, is similarly keen to give each development a feel unique to its location, yet authentically Hong Kong. The designers' brief is to create affordable luxury that complements the area, offering a retreat from the city without shutting it out.
Chi 130 in Wan Chai is designed to encourage a green lifestyle. The accent is on spaciousness and energy efficiency, with pool areas and a shared landscaped garden meant to highlight the fact that environmental awareness in a city such as Hong Kong is not a contradiction in terms.
'Accessible balconies add a further exterior dimension,' Morais says. 'Younger singles and couples appreciate thoughtful design that gives comfort, warm tones, quality furnishings and, of course, high-speed internet.'