The collaborative duo behind the Australian-owned Kerry Phelan Design Office present a new firm located in central Hong Kong; a challenge met with ease and optimism. Text by Lara Smetannikov.
April 14th, 2014
Kerry Phelan and Stephen Javens, the creative architectural design duo behind KPDO, have chosen central Hong Kong for the city’s “powerful decision makers and an energising, creative energy,” and are enthusiastic about finding designers among the local talent. Working together since 2004, the duo have always expressed a strong interest in Asia, a love affair that started with their JIA Boutique Hotel project. Transiting between their Melbourne office and the city for almost a decade, the duo soon established a strong social and business relationship to this vibrant city.
“As such, this move is just a natural process for us because we have already become familiar with the city from the perspective of living and creating work there,” explains Steven Javens, Director of Architecture and Hong Kong Operations for KPDO. While they enjoy Hong Kong, the duo are keeping firm aspirations to expand into Singapore and mainland China. Mirroring their beautiful Melbourne office, KPDO are situated on Wyndham St, where they are to work on luxury residential, hospitality and retail projects. The current faded bronze and tinted bay windows of the curved exterior create an out-dated façade. However, the completed servicing will herald a contemporary roof top office bathing in natural sunlight, reflecting the design and aesthetic philosophy integral to KPDO.
Their first project in the new city will be the refurbishment of a heritage listed art decoration building overlooking the Kennedy Town waterfront. The building is to be transformed into eight unique penthouse apartments with rooftop terraces, overlooking a sparkling blue horizon. “We think that this project will be quite unique in the market place. We’re really looking forward to introducing our KPDO aesthetic in to the landscape of Hong Kong,” says Javens.
As for current long-term goals, the company strive to create a vibrant office with strong local talent; “having Hong Kong designers to build a strong design culture in Hong Kong to match our current office has always been our focus,” adds Javens. Not only does this assist KPDO in furthering themselves as innovators in architecture and design, supporting and nurturing Regional talent is integral to furthering the design industry.
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