Foster + Partners’ completes Hong Kong hotel inside former government headquarters

Foster + Partners has completed The Murray hotel in Hong Kong, which sits within the shell of a gridded 1960s tower once used as governmental offices.

The Murray hotel is situated on the southern edge of the city’s central business district. Originally built in 1969, the building was formerly used as government headquarters but now hosts 336 luxury guest rooms, a rooftop bar, as well as restaurants and event spaces.

For the redesign the practice decided to keep the building’s distinctive gridded white facade, which is punctuated with recessed square windows – these were initially included in the design as a way to deter the intense sunlight of Hong Kong’s subtropical climate.

A series of four-storey arches that sit at the hotel’s base have also been preserved, intercepted by a vehicle ramp and elevated pathway that give access to the interiors. Both elements have been partially clad in platinum gold stainless steel.

“Our design for The Murray creates a dialogue between the old and the new – giving the building a new lease of life and a renewed purpose, with a unique sense of character that is embedded within the fabric of the building,” Luke Fox, head of studio at Foster + Partners, said in a statement.

The project also called for the architects to re-engage the hotel with surrounding street-level amenities that had previously been obstructed by a network of busy roads.

“The Murray Building was originally designed at a time when the city was planned around the car, and consequently stands on an island site, surrounded by roads and making it impermeable for pedestrians,” the practice explained.

As a result several glazed rooms have been created at ground level, offering views to the outdoors, and landscaping has been extended to accommodate a public tai chi area.

Foster + Partners, which ranked 9th in the latest Dezeen Hot List, is also currently constructing new headquarters for robotics company DJI in the city of Shenzhen, which will feature a skybridge that can showcase their latest drone models.

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