pdp[east] has recently completed architecture and interior design refurbishment for the front of house and common areas of The Manhattan – a five-tower residential development of over 300 units in Tai Tam, Hong Kong. Responding to the client brief, pdp[east] developed a holistic scheme that covers external spaces, lobbies and lifts with three key approaches: to create more public space, to design a modernised environment for families and to improve the day-to-day operation of the development.
At the building entrance, a signage wall that could be up lit is erected to create a more prominent entrance. Visitors are greeted with a refreshed logo marque in a custom font tailored for The Manhattan Group. The existing footpath along the driveway is removed, whilst pedestrians are encouraged to use the widened staircase leading from the forecourt area as pdp[east] hopes to activate more pedestrian access points, including from Tai Tam Road, formal lobbies and bridges from outdoor facilities.
Up at the drop-off space, the landscaping is redesigned to reinstate its uses for residents. The formal waterfall roundabout is replaced by a blended shared-use environment for pedestrians and vehicles, with a more integrated landscape and graduated planting areas in stepped rectilinear beds. It opens up the remainder of landscaping for greater and safer family use. The sharing system, together with the new canopy, naturally encourages drop-offs at the central Clubhouse entrance, hence limiting traffic to all five towers.
The podium connecting individual lobbies is a crucial part of the residents experience, and pdp[east]’s design aims to instil harmony. Terracotta louvres are installed to provide a texture and warmth to compliment the stone finish of granite and grey basalt. They correspond with the timber louvers at ceiling height and inside lobby glazing, and blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor. The open podium transfer level above the clubhouse is brought back to its functional use for residents, such as bike storage, barbecue areas and quiet leisure spaces.
The lobbies are redesigned with a consistent specification, and an objective of making them as welcoming as possible, whilst tailored to the different geometry of each tower lobby. Glass walls and picture windows open up the lobbies to full height and more natural daylight. Previous dark openings to lift lobbies are enhanced with full height framed portals to accentuate the height and calm of the lobby. Timber louvres, natural stone, lantern lights and abundant sunlight give the lobbies a contemporary resort ambience.
To make better use of such spacious lobbies, custom concierge desks are designed by pdp[east] as sculptural objects that provide a natural home for the estate staff. Wall-mounted screens, running news and announcements, are fitted behind the concierge desk. Lobbies are now well ventilated by new fans which not only reduce reliance on air conditioning, but also give a sense of movement and calming environment.
To minimise the disturbances on residents, the project was delivered within a fast track 15-month construction programme with all residents in situ. It required a robust and well planned process as pdp[east] worked seamlessly with international project manager MACE and the contractor ProjeXAsia to manage complex site logistics and maintaining a safe environment for all residents, their children and visitors.
The result is a substantial re-branding in both identity and perception of The Manhattan with greatly improved function and investment value. The design is also simple and clean, infused with an international high-end hospitality aesthetic, using details and materials that are made to last and easy to maintain. Signage is unified and implemented around the estate, reinforcing this renewed identity of a contemporary living quarters for The Manhattan’s residents.