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QUE – Citygate, Hong Kong by Minus Workshop

Project name:
QUE - Citygate
Architecture firm:
Hong Kong
Steven Ko Interior Photography
Principal architect:
Kevin Yiu
Design team:
Minus Workshop
Interior design:
Minus Workshop
Built area:
270 m²
Site area:
300 m²
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Environmental & MEP:
Kiwi Construction
Minus Workshop team
Lightitude, Lutron dimming system
Kiwi Construction
textured clay plaster, moss art, vinyl flooring, wood veneer, vinyl strips, wall cover, washi paper, etc
Tools used:
Various tools
Hospitality › Restaurant

Minus Workshop  completed an immersive wabi-sabi bonsai to QUE, the restaurant and cafe in Hong Kong.

Minus Workshop has taken QUE at Citygate in Tung Chung, situated at one of the Swire group highlighted malls in Hong Kong, to another level of urban escape. Yiu, the founder and chief designer of Minus Workshop, considers the Japanese cafe label QUE to be newly established in Hong Kong of its clean and strong brand image , that the main concept approach should frames the astonishing views from Sado Island by featuring abundant details. The experience starts from the entrance, telling the folktale of Sado Island in Japan, where the cats conquer the place and bring luck to the villagers. And now, the scenario is brought to Hong Kong as a catering destination for an urban escape.

The arrival offered patrons an instant picturesque effect to welcome each patron to while away by the light-toned ambience. A striking monolithic reception desk shaped in Torii of Japan and visually dovetail with a washi screen further inside the restaurant. A gradient of champagne to neutral white ceiling arrangement drew inspiration from the famous gold digging on the island, extending it from the above head to the left of a pastry counter and a small bar, sophisticatedly presenting QUE delectable and prominent dessert. 

One signature design aesthetic of Yiu is to celebrate and appreciate the art of nature, albeit living in a city landscape. The greenery is ubiquitous but in a different form beyond expectation. In QUE, the raw power of ancient trees layered and clad in banded wood and vine flank the entrance, as well as twining from the ceiling to the bar, which lies the space, adds a dynamic perspective and movement. Visitors are offered to begin their journey and immerse themselves in a wabi-sabi bonsai.

The footstep followed by the main washi screen brings us curiosity at the entrance leading patrons to unveil the grand tea room . A pair of planted spheres are suspended to be an attention-catching pinnacle. To set off the garden, bamboo is laid as a themed element at the backend dining cubical - the bamboo-shaped pile and leaves hanging fixture covertly divided the space into sections without compressing the spaciousness. 

The site's relatively high ceiling and spacious characteristics allow the designer to buckle down the creativity. Therefore, lightboxes under washi statement screens are set in between seats by giving a sensation of a Japanese garden. The treatment has also minimized the disadvantage of the window view at the particular site without losing the crucial soft illumination. Apart from a range of sheer washi, a dramatic patio supported by the lightbox amplifies the ample daylighting-like environment. The poetic structural refinement is applied, as seen in the selection of furniture and the clover-shaped vertical pendant light. The spaciousness allows meticulously designed for vary of seat plan that the banquette seater is referencing the bowl-shaped boat on Sado Island with polished stone, offering a light-weighted sense of floating.

The floor arrangement is diligent in enhancing naturalism by shimmery stainless steel mosaic tiles emulating the gold mine historic relic of Sado island. Moreover, curvy features and form of furniture acquaint patrons with the imagination of rowing the signature Island boat. Surprises are not limited to artsy ideas but above board visuals. The island is well known for wild cats running over the area, the overwhelming touch of cat decoration conquering the corners, catching eyes from the row of seaters through the round window on the partition between. Last but not least, the window view is completed with an exquisitely crafted wabi-sabi bonsai. QUE in Minus Workshop’s hands has complemented the urban escape to Sado Island.

By Liliana Alvarez

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