Multiple award-winning Hong Kong architect and designer Steve Leung tells us where he is setting his sights next.
Amongst the many accolades he has received, Steve Leung has won the prestigious Andrew Martin ’Best Interior Designers Worldwide’ award a whopping 9 times. A prominent figure in the Asian interior design scene and recognised internationally, Steve is an advocate of contemporary styles and his work skilfully incorporates Asian cultural and artistic elements.
Project: 39 Conduit Road, Hong Kong
He describes himself as a very practical and business-oriented designer. “When we start a new project, we never start with inspiration, but research and analysis.”
“I think, like all kinds of design, interior design should be the perfect blending of aesthetics and functionality, that’s why we have to understand and enhance the function of the space and then perfect it with aesthetic touch.”
Starting young at age 30 with his own architectural and urban planning consultancy back in 1987, Steve today employs over 300 employees at Steve Leung Architects and Steve Leung Designers.
He likens the management of such a large firm to that of a 3-Star Michelin restaurant group. “Our Hong Kong head office serves as the central kitchen, where designers work closely with me to seek new ingredients and try out new design concepts. Therefore every project’s design is conceptualised and developed at our headquarters by an experienced team, which I personally oversee to ensure quality, market acceptance and client satisfaction.”
Over time, the firm has increased its focus in interior design work. “Since I’m often intrigued by new and exciting challenges, the product life cycle of interior projects is more compatible to my personality than that of architectural and urban planning projects.”
“Throughout the years, our interior designs have been well received in the market and now, in 2011, our projects are mainly interior design projects.”
“In terms of the future, interior design will still be our core business, but we will place more emphasis on hospitality design projects, such as hotels and restaurants.”
Project: Sing Yin Chinese Restaurant, W Hotel, Hong Kong
Sing Yin Chinese Restaurant in W Hotel Hong Kong is one recent project that Steve’s particularly proud of.
“As it is the first Chinese restaurant in W Hotels, instead of the traditional magnificence and grandeur of a Chinese restaurant, I wanted to turn this aesthetic on its head and create my own Hong Kong-inspired take on designing a modern-day Chinese restaurant by featuring Hong Kong’s unique streetscape in a groundbreaking contemporary sense.”
The firm is also working on Hampton by Couture Homes in Hong Kong, which Steve describes as embodying “the spirit of haute couture in the context of property”.
With an experienced team to back him up, Steve is now looking to put more personal focus into his new company, 1957 & Co.
“It is a hospitality investment and management company. We recently opened an Italian and Japanese restaurant in January 2011. I hope to open more restaurants or even a boutique hotel before I turn 60.”