Hotels are often designed to evoke a sense of place. Nashville’s Opryland hotel is as showy and hospitable as the country music capital, and the Plaza is every bit as glamorous and top-notch as New York likes to think it is. These places give visitors, who flew or drove from far-flung locations, a chance to sample the real essence of a city—exactly what they came for.
Curiously, the Tuve hotel in the Hong Kong’s Tin Hau district elected to do the opposite. Inspired by the photographer Kim Høltermand’s panoramas of Sweden’s Lake Tuve, the hotel’s owner wanted to telegraph the mood of the Scandanavian landscape to his establishment in the center of the bustling city halfway across the world. He tapped the Hong Kong architects Design Systems and they translated the moody, haunting images into a stunning hotel full of natural materials. Carbon, brass, oak, granite, and marble are found throughout the hotel’s lobby and rooms, all topped off with gold flecked cracks in the concrete walls to look like lightening.
The stormy and ethereal atmosphere at Tuve evokes the fog-laden lake in Sweden for visitors to Hong Kong. Hats off to Design Systems: it takes a special design talent to put you in two places at once.