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Ovolo Southside

Ovolo Southside is the first hotel in Hong Kong to be converted from an old warehouse. Originally designed in 1976, the former multifunctional factory now features 162 open-plan guest rooms—each differing in size and shape from one another—a 24-hour gym, a collection of creatively designed social spaces, and a showcase of contemporary art against a backdrop of utilitarian interior design.

The project is located in Wong Chuk Hang, a revitalised town on the south side of Hong Kong Island that was once one of the island’s few remaining manufacturing districts. With the recent urban revitalisation, Southside is now revived as Hong Kong’s equivalent of the Meatpacking District of New York or London’s East End—derelict industrial areas revived with the entry of major fashion houses and boutiques, bistros and cafés, nightlife, and hotels, while still retaining a gritty atmosphere that tells of its past.

A juxtaposition of the old and new, this former heavily industrialised neighbourhood of car workshops and warehouses hidden within huge retro units now teems with an artistic new crowd. The hotel, due to its location at the periphery, also enjoys unblocked views to Hong Kong’s verdant topography and the cityscape beyond.

Industrial-inspired Interior 

The hotel’s interior décor reflects the vibe of Southside. To retain a legacy of its past, the building’s original structure is maintained, which is environmentally friendly since it minimises wastage of built resources. As the architects had the advantage of working with an open plan layout, little modifications were done to the interiors.

To correspond with the industrial exterior shell, mid-century style steel furniture, heavy-duty fixtures and fittings coupled with concrete floors and tactile walls of burnished wood and exposed brickwork were used for the interiors. Ceilings were also left deliberately exposed with a maze of chunky bare-steel water pipes and foil-clad air-conditioning pipes running through. Clean lines and reflective surfaces provide visual balance, while the floor-to-ceiling windows flood the interiors with daylight to bring a sense of warmth to the concrete, grey hues.

An anthology of artists was enlisted to create a contemporary arts showcase within the hotel. These art constructions, in the form of murals or graffiti, were inspired by the area’s history and its subsequent revitalisation. They are placed along the hotel’s corridors and rooftops as well as the ground floor gallery, creating ad hoc public spaces that invite conversation, where outside visitors and hotel guests can come together and interact.

This edgy, stripped-down design extends to the hotel’s restaurant and bars. A restaurant at the fourth floor of the hotel has a canteen-inspired interior, with an expansive open-air terrace overlooking the Southside while an open-air bar at the hotel’s rooftop is clad with painted murals of Hong Kong in revolution.

Green Features

The project’s materials sourcing policy ensured that local suppliers were used as much as possible; not only to keep costs low, but to also reduce the carbon footprint incurred from transporting the materials. Resources such as galvanised steel and the interior wallpaper, for example, were obtained from local suppliers. In instances where materials were taken from international sources, such as the paint, it was mainly owing to their environmentally-friendly properties. Acquired from Germany, the mineral-based paint was chosen for the internal walls of the hotel as it has the ability to reduce noxious gases and odours by turning them into natural substances, keeping the indoor air quality healthy for the occupants.

The old factory windows, located where the hotel rooms now are, were replaced with openable, double-glazed and full-height windows to facilitate natural ventilation and to optimise daylight, while effectively blocking direct solar glare. Other Green features include a centralised, energy-efficient air-conditioning system, and the incorporation of plants in the landscaped areas on the podium and the fourth floor terrace. Social spaces in Ovolo Southside encourage interaction and are designed to be multifunctional, thus maximising use of spaces and not restricting them to singular use.

Project Data

Project Name
Ovolo Southside
64 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Completion Date
3 July 2015

Site Area
5,164 square feet

Gross Floor Area
77,349 square feet


Number of Rooms

Building Height
24 storeys

Ovolo Hotels
Architecture Firm
K plus K Associates
Ovolo Hotels











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