Hong Kong Guide for Design Enthusiasts
By Anne Cui.
Sidewalk food stalls. Sleek banking centers. Leafy green gardens. Dense apartment complexes. Luxury retail destinations. Hong Kong is a city full of juxtapositions in every category. As a traveler drawn to visual experiences, Hong Kong offers a truly unique type of diversity in its combination of colors, shapes, and textures. For anyone with an affinity for design, the city is a must-see case study.
Jockey Club Innovation Tower
Admirers of Zaha Hadid will be thrilled to know that a permanent work of hers lies in Kowloon, specifically within the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus. The façade of the building exemplifies Hadid’s innovative and futuristic style for which she was famous. The interior space is equally contemporary and showcases her mark on classroom and studio design. You can freely wander around the maze of workshop spaces and climb the angled staircases. The school also hosts an array of year-round exhibitions for those interested in seeing more works from local talent.
Choi Hung Estate
“Choi Hung Estate” literally translates into “Rainbow Estate,” and is one of the oldest public housing estates in Hong Kong. The vertical nature of local living accommodations is perhaps one of Hong Kong’s most defining attributes; its liberal use of bright paint color, however, was a surprise to me. Nowhere is that truer than at this complex. Its apartments and basketball courts are dripping in the boldest of hues. I love the Choi Hung Estate not only for its color inspiration but for its firsthand view into local living.
Sai Wan Swimming Shed
Hong Kong’s green spaces are vast despite the city’s density. Despite its urban sprawl, access to natural beauty is quick and easy. One hidden gem is the Sai Wan Swimming Shed, located not too far from the Kennedy Town MTR station. To access, one must climb down a fairly steep staircase. However, once you’ve hiked to the bottom, you can take a dip in the open sea or simply relax and watch the boats in the distance. Sunset is especially magical here.
Equal part nostalgic escape and quintessential Hong Kong foodie destination, Mido Café offers a classic tea restaurant menu and 1950s ambiance. The café’s offerings are eclectic and unique, ranging from porridge and toast, to macaroni with pork chops. I personally love taking a seat by the window and enjoying the street sounds below with a cup of warm milk tea. It’s classic Hong Kong at its best.
Inspired by the style of Europe’s grand café’s, The Continental offers lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, and drinks in between in its gorgeous emerald green interior. Located in the middle of Hong Kong Island, the space is ideal for lounging and relaxing with good company or simply pulling up to the bar solo. The Continental is a perfect example of Hong Kong’s penchant for high design.
Anne Cui is an avid traveler, visual storyteller, and entrepreneur based in San Francisco. She has been profiled by AFAR Magazine and Suitcase Magazine as a travel Instagrammer to follow. Follow her on Instagram.