A Work of Substance was asked to redesign and re-brand The Fleming Hotel (originally opened in 2006). The initial brief from the owner, John Hui, was to create a Food & Beverage destination that would drive foot traffic to the hotel by transforming the original 20-seater restaurant into a 60-seater. The brief for a full renovation followed when a gap in the market was found for a design-led boutique hotel. Upon researching international and local hospitality landscapes and The Fleming’s clientele (business travellers) it was found that in particular, future business travellers expect increasing emotional experience with art and culture, as opposed to traditionally commercial trade-focused. Responding to this demand, efficiency, sociability and culture became the backbone of The Fleming’s new experience and A Work of Substance were challenged to highlight those three values throughout the design.
Sociability is the essence of the layout design and custom-made furniture, creating interfaces among guests as well as one to interact with the staff. The reception, for instance, has lounge chairs with movable backrests, creating a flexible and social space. Going beyond meeting the needs of the business travellers, the designers created a custom line of bathroom amenities, curated the music playlists, and crafted a signature scent to create a multi-sensory cultural experience – hoping each guest leaves Hong Kong feeling nostalgic.
A key aspect of the Fleming Hotel is the lobby. The lobby perfectly encapsulates the three core values; efficiency, sociability, and culture. From how the lobby smoothly connects to the restaurant and provides a point of sanctuary for guests, the area is packed with carefully selected publications for readers to learn about the hotel’s culture and the rest of Hong Kong – naturally becoming a social hub for visitors to convene. The goal is for guests to really experience Hong Kong in a way they’ve never felt before through visual cues that they might pick up as they wander around the streets of the city. A Work of Substance wanted to engage guests and make them aware of how rich the Cantonese culture is.