written by:
July 14, 2010

In Hong Kong, we had the opportunity to check out the new Upper House hotel. Every bit of the hotel was designed by Andre Fu, the 35-year-old founder of the burgeoning Hong Kong firm AFSO— from the architecture, interior design and furniture to tiny details like the books in the rooms and the restaurant's soundtrack. Fu designed the property around the idea of an "upward journey"— both literally (it's located on the top 11 floors of a glass-and-steel high-rise) and figuratively, as a serene oasis amid one of the densest cities in the world. Here's a peek.

Since the hotel starts higher up in the hotel, the approach at street-level is understated, with just a small entry lobby tucked into a corner of the highrise footprint. Fu's inspiration for the hotel was a "modern-Oriental residence, designed with respec
Since the hotel starts higher up in the hotel, the approach at street-level is understated, with just a small entry lobby tucked into a corner of the highrise footprint. Fu's inspiration for the hotel was a "modern-Oriental residence, designed with respect to balanced geometry and symmetry." Thirteen-foot-high textured nickel doors, bracketed by reflecting pools, swing open to reveal a circular bamboo screen that Fu calls "the Lantern."; It encloses a silent, dimly lit escalator that zips guests up to the hotel lobby on level six.
1 / 13
Located on the sixth floor, just off the small lobby, is a limestone stairway that steps its way up to a lush grass lawn, where guests can relax on bean bag chairs and sip cocktails amid sculpted topiary box-hedges.
Located on the sixth floor, just off the small lobby, is a limestone stairway that steps its way up to a lush grass lawn, where guests can relax on bean bag chairs and sip cocktails amid sculpted topiary box-hedges.
2 / 13
Since private outdoor space is a rarity in Hong Kong, Fu considers this manicured, postage-stamp lawn one of the hotel's biggest luxuries.
Since private outdoor space is a rarity in Hong Kong, Fu considers this manicured, postage-stamp lawn one of the hotel's biggest luxuries.
3 / 13
As the cherubic and charming Fu demonstrates, the spindly structure of a traditional Chinese parasol inspired several design moments throughout the hotel, including "the Lantern" at the entryway.
As the cherubic and charming Fu demonstrates, the spindly structure of a traditional Chinese parasol inspired several design moments throughout the hotel, including "the Lantern" at the entryway.
4 / 13
A walkway cantilevered over a ten-story light well and atrium connects the elevators with the 49th floor restaurant, Café Grey Deluxe, which has an open kitchen and amazing views of Victoria Harbor. Above the bridge is "the Halo," a floating cei
A walkway cantilevered over a ten-story light well and atrium connects the elevators with the 49th floor restaurant, Café Grey Deluxe, which has an open kitchen and amazing views of Victoria Harbor. Above the bridge is "the Halo," a floating ceiling crafted from timber poles whose arrangement was, too, inspired by wood-and-paper umbrellas. According to Fu, this halo marks the "high point of the aspirational upward journey."
5 / 13
An installation of crimped stainless steel sheets drift up the limestone walls of the elevator banks, a ten-story installation by the Japanese artist Hiroshiwata Sawada that mimics the light patterns and ripples of the water in the reflecting pools below.
An installation of crimped stainless steel sheets drift up the limestone walls of the elevator banks, a ten-story installation by the Japanese artist Hiroshiwata Sawada that mimics the light patterns and ripples of the water in the reflecting pools below. Overhead, the Halo shows how it got that name.
6 / 13
A private dining room in the restaurant is all golden hues, with brushed bronze walls and silk-upholstered chairs set atop a tweedy rug. The chandelier is assembled from bronze rods that resemble bamboo stalks. On the left, a screen made of banana-shaped
A private dining room in the restaurant is all golden hues, with brushed bronze walls and silk-upholstered chairs set atop a tweedy rug. The chandelier is assembled from bronze rods that resemble bamboo stalks. On the left, a screen made of banana-shaped fins separate the room from the rest of the restaurant.
7 / 13
The 117 guestrooms are minimalist and uncluttered, with oak and ash floors, custom furniture and fixtures designed by Fu, and walls lined in bamboo, limestone and lacquered paper. The long, low furnishings provide a counterbalancing sense of horizontality
The 117 guestrooms are minimalist and uncluttered, with oak and ash floors, custom furniture and fixtures designed by Fu, and walls lined in bamboo, limestone and lacquered paper. The long, low furnishings provide a counterbalancing sense of horizontality—and a visual contrast—to the vertical sea of high-rises that press in close around the building.
8 / 13
The wooden parasol motif continues in the guestrooms, as evidenced in the interlocking wooden screen behind the bed. Cool in-room perks include bottomless jars of M&Ms and Mentos, organic bath amenities by REN of London, and an iPod Touch that you can use
The wooden parasol motif continues in the guestrooms, as evidenced in the interlocking wooden screen behind the bed. Cool in-room perks include bottomless jars of M&Ms and Mentos, organic bath amenities by REN of London, and an iPod Touch that you can use for everything from ordering room service to navigating the city streets.
9 / 13
Fu uses bamboo, a traditional Asian material, in creative ways throughout the hotel. Here, a detail of a closet door, clad in a complex radial pattern.
Fu uses bamboo, a traditional Asian material, in creative ways throughout the hotel. Here, a detail of a closet door, clad in a complex radial pattern.
10 / 13
Outside each guestroom, an identifying number glows through a paper-thin sheet of bamboo veneer.
Outside each guestroom, an identifying number glows through a paper-thin sheet of bamboo veneer.
11 / 13
Sliding pocket doors disappear into the bathroom wall, revealing a soaring view of the harbor from the capacious soaking tub. A wood-grain sandstone sculpture by Taiwanese sculptor Marvin Minto Fang anchors the space and draws the eye forward and out.
Sliding pocket doors disappear into the bathroom wall, revealing a soaring view of the harbor from the capacious soaking tub. A wood-grain sandstone sculpture by Taiwanese sculptor Marvin Minto Fang anchors the space and draws the eye forward and out.
12 / 13
Since the hotel doesn't have a typical lobby, a public 'living room' on the 49th floor serves as a communal gathering place—and, with views of the lush hills nearby, a reminder that notoriously dense and skyscrapered Hong Kong has many faces.
Since the hotel doesn't have a typical lobby, a public 'living room' on the 49th floor serves as a communal gathering place—and, with views of the lush hills nearby, a reminder that notoriously dense and skyscrapered Hong Kong has many faces.
13 / 13
Since the hotel starts higher up in the hotel, the approach at street-level is understated, with just a small entry lobby tucked into a corner of the highrise footprint. Fu's inspiration for the hotel was a "modern-Oriental residence, designed with respec
Since the hotel starts higher up in the hotel, the approach at street-level is understated, with just a small entry lobby tucked into a corner of the highrise footprint. Fu's inspiration for the hotel was a "modern-Oriental residence, designed with respect to balanced geometry and symmetry." Thirteen-foot-high textured nickel doors, bracketed by reflecting pools, swing open to reveal a circular bamboo screen that Fu calls "the Lantern."; It encloses a silent, dimly lit escalator that zips guests up to the hotel lobby on level six.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

45 dva 2270 persp1 cmyk 0
The prospect of retirement doesn’t just signal the end of a career; it offers the chance to recalibrate and re-prioritize in life.
July 25, 2016
18
You don’t have to choose between sustainable energy and curb appeal.
July 19, 2016
jakemagnus queensland 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
July 06, 2016
content delzresidence 013 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 29, 2016
abc malacari marwick stair 01 0
A simple set of stairs is a remodel’s backbone.
June 28, 2016
Design Award of Excellence winner Mellon Square.
Docomomo US announces the winners of this year's Modernism in America Awards. Each project showcases exemplary modern restoration techniques, practices, and ideas.
June 27, 2016
monogram dwell sf 039 1
After last year’s collaboration, we were excited to team up with Monogram again for the 2016 Monogram Modern Home Tour.
June 27, 2016
switch over chicago smart renovation penthouse deck smar green ball lamps quinze milan lounge furniture garapa hardwood
A strategic rewire enhances a spec house’s gut renovation.
June 26, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent coralie gourguechon treviso italy cphotos by coralie gourguechon co produced by isdat planche anatomique de haut parleur1
Coralie Gourguechon's paper objects will make you see technology in a whole new way.
June 26, 2016
green machine smart home aspen colorado facade yard bocci deck patio savant
Smart technology helps a house in Aspen, Colorado, stay on its sustainable course.
June 25, 2016
Compact Aglol 11 television plastic brionvega.
The aesthetic appeal of personal electronics has long fueled consumer interest. A new industrial design book celebrates devices that broke the mold.
June 25, 2016
modern backyard deck ipe wood
An angled deck transforms a backyard in Menlo Park, California, into a welcoming gathering spot.
June 24, 2016
dscf5485 1
Today, we kicked off this year’s annual Dwell on Design at the LA Convention Center, which will continue through Sunday, June 26th. Though we’ve been hosting this extensive event for years, this time around is particularly special.
June 24, 2016
under the radar renovation napa
Two designers restore a low-slung midcentury gem in Napa, California, by an unsung Bay Area modernist.
June 24, 2016
Exterior of Huneeus/Sugar Bowl Home.
San Francisco–based designer Maca Huneeus created her family’s weekend retreat near Lake Tahoe with a relaxed, sophisticated sensibility.
June 24, 2016
light and shadow bathroom walnut storage units corian counter vola faucet
A Toronto couple remodel their home with a special emphasis on a spacious kitchen and a material-rich bathroom.
June 24, 2016
Affordable home in Kansas City living room
In Kansas City, an architecture studio designs an adaptable house for a musician on a budget.
June 23, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment oak vertical slats office
By straightening angles, installing windows, and adding vertical accents, architect Aaron Ritenour brought light and order to an irregularly shaped apartment in the heart of Athens, Greece.
June 23, 2016
kitchen confidential tiles custom cabinetry oak veneer timber house
A modest kitchen addition to a couple’s cottage outside of Brisbane proves that one 376-square-foot room can revive an entire home.
June 23, 2016
feldman architecture 0
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
June 22, 2016
Blackened timber Dutch home
A modern dwelling replaces a fallen farmhouse.
June 22, 2016
hillcrest house interior kitchen 3
Seeking an escape from bustling city life, a Manhattan couple embarks on a renovation in the verdant Hudson Valley.
June 22, 2016
angular
Atelier Moderno renovated an old industrial building to create a luminous, modern home.
June 21, 2016
San Francisco floating home exterior
Anchored in a small San Francisco canal, this floating home takes its cues from a classic city habitat.
June 21, 2016
modern renovation addition solar powered scotland facade steel balcony
From the bones of a neglected farmstead in rural Scotland emerges a low-impact, solar-powered home that’s all about working with what was already there.
June 21, 2016
up in the air small space new zealand facade corrugated metal cladding
An architect with a taste for unconventional living spaces creates a small house at lofty heights with a starring view.
June 21, 2016
young guns 2016 emerging talent marjan van aubel london cwai ming ng current window
Marjan Van Aubel makes technology a little more natural.
June 21, 2016
urban pastoral brooklyn family home facade steel cypress double
Building on the site of a former one-car garage, an architect creates his family’s home in an evolving neighborhood of Brooklyn.
June 20, 2016
Modern Brooklyn backyard studio with plexiglass skylight, green roof, and cedar cladding facade
In a Brooklyn backyard, an off-duty architect builds a structure that tests his attention to the little things.
June 20, 2016
the outer limits paris prefab home living area vertigo lamp constance guisset gijs bakker strip tablemetal panels
In the suburbs of Paris, an architect with an eco-friendly practice doesn’t let tradition stand in the way of innovation.
June 20, 2016