HOLA
(DESIGNERS)
03_ENTERTAINMENT HONG KONG

The new Republik club and lounge reveals itself with two identities, Day into night and dark into light.

The first view is a street presence that offers a hip spot to unwind in the early evening. The ground floor lounge bar has a relaxed feel with boldly patterned sofas and contrasting geometric black and white textiles on a floor of dark hides coupled with modern rocking chairs and informal benches. A striking yellow punctuates the spaces adding zesty highlights.

Your eye is drawn up into the lofty volume guided by the twinkle of a cloud of shaped mirrors on the ceiling. Closer inspection reveals these are 1960’s car rear view mirrors. These remnants of the street illuminate and reflect the traffic inside and out, echoing the changing mood from day into night. Climbing the stairs that reveal a hidden space, a private lounge with a view of the street action, secluded and in many ways a hint as to what might be on the next level. This wood lined and mirrored cabin is at once intimate lounge and public theatre.

As you move up the stairs to the upper floor you pass through the mirrored cloud and two cool attenuated geometric portals punctuating the journey up the long flight. Ascending the staircase the wall colour becomes deeper and moody. The final portal lands you at a space filled with surprising objects. One is a large mirror ball, more sculpture than lighting effect, the other a large wooden honeycomb form that engages the ceiling. The dazzling form, lit for drama, is the threshold to the next adventure at Republik.

This ante chamber is a pause before being released into the next of these layered spaces. Moving either side of the honeycomb sculpture reveals the DJ’s perch. Passing the mirror ball you walk along an elevated catwalk that entices a choice among a series of furnished chambers each with a deep whimsical character appearing between the designed and assembled. The spaces have unique characteristics and custom furnishings imbuing a mood of an exclusive clubhouse meet with a louche urbane Italian weekender. Bordering this promenade is a continuous bench seat allowing you to perch and play. One side addresses the suite of chambers; the other side addresses the bar.

The bar flanks either side of a marble radiused counter at the corner of the bar and is a place to hang out close to the dance floor and a perfect place to pause for deciding where to settle for the night. A separate lounge bar is anchored on one side by a 5 metre long sofa with a back drop of wallpaper made from shredded magazines, like a desiccated library. This room is finished with illusive reflections from a wall of car mirrors like those from the cloud in the stairway. They allow furtive glimpses of other patrons and a constant shimmer of light like a moto-punk mirror ball connects you back to the club vibe.

Surprising combinations of materials and furnishing juxtapositions create unique experiences in each volume. Mirrors and modified champagne bottles, salvaged images from faded revolutions laid over rubber walls. Optimistic heroic imagery from now forgotten conquests look into the rooms as ephemeral graphics that evoke The Island of Doctor Moreau perched on provocative furniture are designed to promote abandon.

The other end of the bar presents a large round nest of a room, a wrapped form fashioned from braided pale cotton webbing. It contains a plush circular sofa in a metallic detail textile of a fine geometric pattern. Both on view and veiled the occupants can imbibe in a separate auditory space. A cluster of low faceted dome lights creates a focus in the room over a large dark marble table littered with champagne glasses. It’s a domain, a lair or a stage depending on the inhabitant, a cocoon nurturing good times and well intentioned mischief.

Republik is a playground that slowly makes itself known to you, one room, one lounge, one new friend at time. As they say about opening champagne, the slow release provides the greatest pleasure.

Republik has been designed by Hola Projects will opened in October 2010.

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