PROJECTS

Oootopia Kai Tak

We were commissioned in late 2018 by a real estate fund to research, explore and design a co-living-inspired serviced apartment concept primarily targeting young creatives, professional couples, small families and students who want to live in harmony with like-minded people in Hong Kong and Asia.

Our client had purchased three existing in buildings in up-and-coming locations across Hong Kong, namely To Kwa Wan, Tai Kok Tsui and Sai Wan with the goal of regenerating them to match the nascent nature of the neighbourhoods and fit seamlessly into the area’s existing personality.

We set out to create communities that, unlike other co-living concepts, prioritises private space just as much as the carefully designed communal areas by providing residents with smart furnishings, flexible room types and intelligent technology that align with their varied lifestyles. It was certainly developed with a certain type of tenant in mind. Someone who’s open-minded, open to different cultures, happy to share, is independent and actually has something to offer the world.

Our properties are largely in the heart of Hong Kong’s undiscovered areas. Up-and-coming neighbourhoods with a wealth of history waiting to be told. We believe it’s our responsibility to share these lesser-known locales, including their colourful residents, restaurants, bars and boutiques, with the world. We’ve therefore been very careful to factor in elements of the immediate culture and community, utilising a range of materials to create environments which reflect the properties past, present and future. We really want the fabric of Hong Kong — indigenous Hong Kong — to shine through, as we know from our research that residents prefer authentic flavours over the ostentatious and superficial. That’s not to say that we can’t be flexible with space and amenities we provide.

A key component of our concept is the uniquely themed communal living spaces at each of the properties. Conceived to appeal to socially conscious residents, the ‘Living Room’ at Kai Tok is adorned with plants and flooded with light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows that create a dialogue between the people inside and outside. At Oootopia Tai Kok Tsui, meanwhile, the shared space, dubbed the ‘Tea Room’ is subtly influenced traditional Japanese tatami rooms, while the ‘Ooobar’ at Oootopia West directly references the surrounding neighbourhoods’ bustling nightlife.

We do not subscribe to the old “co-living” narrative, which is often to design overpriced college dorms, but without any of the entertaining aspects! Co-living is not simply co-sleeping. Everyone needs a private space to galvanise their ideas and to fully rest. Therefore, all of our rooms are en-suite, affordable and serviced.

In terms of practicality, many of the rooms feature smart furniture, including foldable dining tables and wall-beds. One of our main aims was to create a more compassionate living environment in both the shared and private spaces. Although tiny spaces offering little interaction is unfortunately often the norm in Hong Kong these days, somebody looking to succeed and enjoy a happy life shouldn’t be forced to live like that. They should have access to decent facilities and sunlight and sleep in a comfortable bed. Above all, they should have access to other people!

In addition to the regular events that are held in the Living Rooms, interaction is also encouraged through deliberate design choices such as placing the water and coffee machines in the living room rather than on every floor.

The use of natural materials acts as a permanent reminder that we are part of a larger eco-system. It also has the added benefit of durability and within the units allows residents to more easily personalise their spaces. Storage is also a key component. Each of the three properties includes more storage space than most equivalent serviced apartments on the Hong Kong market. This once again ties into the understanding that in order to make Oootopians — as residents are known — feel at home it is imperative that their stay does not feel temporary.

In an aesthetic nod to Hong Kong’s history, we’ve incorporated traditional mosaics into some of the properties interiors, which are often complemented by minimalist stone and wood surfaces. Indeed, wood is predominant throughout the common areas and residential rooms at each of the properties, as well as references to the surrounding architecture in each of our locations.

Like any contemporary design firm, we are also very careful when it comes to our carbon footprint and are eager to ensure that our projects are future-proofed. We advocate recycling and environmental friendliness to the core, which is why recycling bins and amenities made from organic ingredients are provided. Appreciating the negative impact air-conditioning units have on the environment, sensors have been installed to ensure that all electrical goods turn off when the room is vacated. This is not only a bonus for the environment but also our Oootopians electricity bills!

While the curation of spaces is a core part of the Oootopia experience, what we want to deliver goes way beyond bricks and mortar. It encompasses bringing people together both offline and online beyond the walls of the properties and screens on phones to create lasting memories. We are essentially creating a co-living concept for people who like people — based on a belief in the “Three OOOs”, which stand for Opportunity, Openness and Originality.

This is the Opportunity to meet kindred spirits, make lasting memories and shape personal and professional experiences. The Openness shared by a community that embraces social interactions, encourages individuality and lives in harmony. The Originality of our co-living concept, our neighbourhoods and of course all Oootopians.


PROJECT DATA
Project Name

Oootopia Kai Tak
Location

18 Sung Wong Toi Road, To Kwa Wan, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Status of Construction

Completed
Completion Date

March 2019
Site Area

1812 sq.ft
Gross Floor Area

18000 approx
Building Height 

8 storeys (1/F – 7/F)
Number of Rooms/Units

56
Client/Owner/Developer

Oootopia Hong Kong / ARCH Capital/ Wanderwonder Hospitality
Executive Architect

Groundwork Architects + Associates
Design Architect

Groundwork Architects + Associates
Interior Design Firm

Groundwork Architects + Associates
Principal Designer

Groundwork Architects + Associates
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer

Pinebridge Group
Quantity Surveyor

KCI Management Consultancy Limited
Main Contractor

Ying Fat Engineering & Design Company Limited
Interior Fit-Out Contractor

Ying Fat Engineering & Design Company Limited
Project Management

Arch.IF Architects Limited
Licensing

M2R Solutions Limited
Images

Oootopia Hong Kong