Once a business hotel in the 90s, Eaton is a reinvented hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong, designed to organically build community and to inspire creative collaboration and activism. AvroKO takes inspiration from the evocative nostalgia of 1950s and 60s Hong Kong, such as decades-old neon signs, shopfronts, and textures.
The team distilled elements from the surrounding neighborhood vernacular of Jordan, Kowloon. Incorporated throughout the hotel is vermillion red metalwork, high-contrast terrazzo with large grain aggregate, neon lighting, and richly-colored tile in subtle and changeable patterns. Red, powder-coated steel details harken back to the local municipal architecture.
The custom lighting uses humble materials like linen and steel with detailing inspired by the local bamboo scaffolding so often seen around town. Despite the nods toward tradition, the streamlined, sleek, and modern furnishing keeps the overall ambiance looking firmly toward the future.
Upon arrival, the guest is immediately greeted with a sense of connectivity between space and program. The three-level atrium space is the largest architectural intervention of the renovation. Creating this opening through the floor slabs allows the connection of the hotel’s central public space to connect to the community on three sides, making the atrium into the social heart of the project. The 15-foot tall chandelier crafted from layers of linen and perforated steel casts dreamy patterns on the columns.
With the new positioning of the reception desk, visitors arrive at the Eaton Hotel and look out to a view across Nathan Road, full of Kow- loon’s landmark neon lighting. The design of the reception desk, lighting and other fixtures within the lobby employ simple color-blocking and geometries, like the layers of rectangular form in HK streetscapes.
A sprawling food hall occupies two floors, while the casual Astor restaurant anchors the lower level. Foodhall integrates itself into the ecosystem of the new Eaton Hotel with its lively new facade. The Astor is named for the cinema that existed at the site of the Eaton hotel during much of the 20th century. As with the cinema’s name, we use the familiar tiles, patterns and materials from the surrounding Kownloon environment to anchor our interiors among the local design vocabulary.
The outdoor terrace is home to the cocktail bar, Terrible Baby, clad in wood and decorative metalwork. Co-working spaces are adjacent to a theater and a band room is available for performances, practice, and recording. Last but not least, the basement is home to an added surprise: a Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant, Yat Tung Heen, offering some of the best flavors of the region.