In a world where you have budget hotels, hostels, and home rentals, and in a city where there’s 600+ hotels tourists can choose from, standing out is no easy feat. The hospitality industry in Hong Kong is tough but TUVE shows us that in order to catch the attention of hundreds of visitors, you have to focus on designing a hotel for 66 people.
Lam Wai Ming the design principal of Design Systems, a Hong Kong-based design studio, shares that TUVE’s owners asked them to design a hotel 66 people will like, the same number as the hotel’s total room count. “For us, it’s the ability to offer not just a quiet respite from the city, but also an emotional experience through the act of discovery and surprise,” he shares. The studio took care of TUVE’s total experience, from branding to interiors. How did they fair? Let’s just say we’re part of the 66 people enthralled by the overall design experience Design Systems orchestrated for TUVE.
TUVE is a jaw-dropper from facade to the rooms. Located in Tin Hau in Causeway Bay, TUVE is a delightful surprise you’ll find in the middle of a typical Hong Kong street. It breaks the streak of usual neon lights in unfamiliar characters with its starkly cold entryway and the steel door of TUVE’s Italian restaurant, the SILVER ROOM.
There is a particular harmony and mystery in the design that makes you want to wander inside the hotel. The design mainly plays with cold materials like marble, steel, and unfinished concrete; but is balanced with faint touches of wood. The TUVE experience doesn’t stop the moment you leave your hotel room. The hotel provides its guests with a mobile phone with cellular data, unlimited local and international calls, and a guide about Hong Kong that you can use during the duration of your stay.
One of the key design elements of TUVE is a wooden box found in its rooms. Perhaps the bento box of furniture, Design Systems designed a custom box that serves as a study table and also doubles as a mini bar with complementary coffee, tea, and other hotel essentials.
While many of us flock to Hong Kong for an adventure and to explore a different culture, TUVE makes us want to stay in and take photos of the design all day long — and we mean that in the least shallow way possible. Design Systems hid numerous interior details to surprise guests with, here’s a head-start on the easter eggs: the nooks and crannies of the unfurnished walls in the rooms are highlighted in lacquer mixed with gold dust.
Unlike most hotels, TUVE is a break from the norm. One might even go as far as to say that the design of the entire property is poetic and graceful in its own industrial way. At each contact point, TUVE carries with it a certain understated luxury that is simply unforgettable.
WRITTEN BY PATRICIA HERBOLARIO | PHOTOGRAPHED BY MATTEO CARCELLI