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09 Dec 2017

Conran and Partners eye global expansion with launch of Hong Kong studio
BY Kim Megson

Conran and Partners will open the new studio in Hong Kong to build on growing opportunities in China, South East Asia and Japan

Conran and Partners will open the new studio in Hong Kong to build on growing opportunities in China, South East Asia and Japan
photo: Conran and Partners

International design practice Conran and Partners have announced the launch of a studio in Hong Kong to build on growing opportunities in China, South East Asia, Japan and surrounding markets.

It is the first time the practice – founded by design icon Sir Terence Conran in the 1950s – has opened a studio outside the UK. The firm’s client base in Asia includes hospitality developers such as Hyatt, China’s FuWah Group and Japan’s NTT Urban Development Corporation.

“Interest in our work at a global level has grown significantly in recent years, particularly in Asia, and we've been undertaking projects across the region for nearly two decades,” said London-based senior partner Tim Bowder-Ridger, who will run the new studio alongside director Tina Norden and the newly appointed Roderick Tong.

“The opening demonstrates our aspiration to show commitment to – and capitalise on – the very exciting creative energy of the region. While we shall at times choose to share the design work for key projects between our London and Hong Kong studios, it’s intended that the Hong Kong studio will become a creative centre in its own right.”

He said the presence of the studio – located in the PMQ start-up hub in Hong Kong’s Central district – will allow regional clients to work more directly with their architectural teams, “while also allowing us to tap into the burgeoning pool of young and aspiring creatives in the region”.

Norden added: “Since starting at Conran and Partners, I've been working on numerous projects in the Asia Pacific region. We've always found the experience hugely rewarding and have established a wide range of contacts and friendships that have lasted over the years. Hong Kong has now almost become a second home.

“Having a base here to support our existing clients and attract new ones who are keen to work with a local studio is very exciting. We hope this will enable us not only to build on our existing work types but to explore other avenues of whatever scale.”

Conran and Partners are best-known for their hospitality projects – such as the Andaz London Liverpool Street hotel and the German Gymnasium restaurant at King’s Cross.

In Asia, they have been involved with projects such as the Niki Club in Japan and Hotel Icon in Hong Kong. They are currently working on the full interior design scope for two new Park Hyatt Hotel projects in Jakarta and Auckland, which include F+B and spa facilities.

In a recent CLADmag feature, Norden argued that increasing crossovers between work and leisure are creating new challenges for hospitality designers.

"With the boundaries to the way people live becoming more blurred, we're starting to explore sectors we haven't worked in for some time,” she said.



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