Inspired Looks

Kowloon’s Muse Studio seeks to blend function, style and personal connection

From its unflashy offices in the unlikely location of Kowloon Bay, Joseph Cheung’s architecture and interiors firm Muse Studio creates functionally luxuriant — or is it luxuriously functional? — spaces for the home. Muse Senior Designer Minako Lee chats with Square Foot.

When was Muse founded and why did you decide to enter a tough market like Hong Kong?
The studio was actually started in London in 1995 and officially opened in Hong Kong in December 2006. We don’t really think that Hong Kong is a particularly tough market. We feel it’s got great potential as a design industry centre. In Hong Kong, the acceptance level of different designs — from modern to classical — is much higher than in other countries.

What is Muse’s specialty? Interior design, residences, architecture projects, outdoor space? All of the above?
We work largely in interior design and architecture. Most of our projects involve changing the layout of whole houses in order to create a better living environment for each client’s individual needs. It is important to be professional in the structure perspective. There are four design teams within in our company covering residential, retail and office space. From among those, our major projects are luxury apartments and houses. Places like The Arch, Marina Cove and Regalia Bay are a few examples.

Do you have a design aesthetic or philosophy that defines the studio?
Very simple: “Detail, Function, Proportion, Connection.” Each project is unique. A residential unit should show off the owner’s personality.

Is there a particular building or space
in Hong Kong you’d love a chance to
redesign? What and why?
Well, not just a particular building or space. Is the planning of the city becoming worse? Look around. You can see there are many, many newly built luxury residential structures, which have just been plopped next to a government apartment complex. We feel that these don’t blend together the way they should. We do understand that land is the key problem in Hong Kong, there seems to be less and less of it, but we feel that there should be something in the way of design that could bring the two types of residences together. There’s also a lack of eco-friendly elements in the city. Maybe the New Territories could be a good spot to start.