When artists and musicians in New York converted factories into cheap options for living and working in the 1950s and 60s, little did they know that they were setting a trend for cool urban housing. Fast forward half a century and New York lofts are high on many people’s lists of desirable residences—even outside the Big Apple. And while Hong Kong hasn’t quite got there in terms of actual industrial conversions, there are multiple architects and developers who are keen to emulate the style.
Goudie Associates is one such firm that has taken inspiration from New York’s warehouses and translated it into a Hong Kong serviced apartment block.
Not only is The Mercury the latest addition to Tin Hau but arguably also the area’s sleekest. It boasts a brick and glass façade and a striking monochrome mural that sets the building apart from its neighbours. New Zealand artist Alana Tsui, who also decorated The Mercury’s rooftop, designed the bespoke four-metre wings, which are situated adjacent to the serviced apartments’ entrance. With a space between the wings for people wishing to “wear” them, this feature wall has already become a magnet for eager Instagrammers since the apartments opened at the end of 2018.
The Mercury is as chic inside as it is out. The 69 one- and two-bedroom apartments, which range in size from 411 to 898 square feet, are comfortably contemporary and fuss-free. While not as raw as a traditional loft apartment might be, common design elements abound such as floor-to-ceiling picture windows (many with harbour views), light-filled open-planned rooms and walls in pure white, mushroom and charcoal grey.
In addition to the bedrooms, the flats typically comprise of a living, dining and kitchen area and bathroom. All come fully furnished and some even have balconies. Fixtures and fittings are in a tasteful palette of neutrals, combining well-designed form, function and comfort.
There are 40-inch LED televisions from Samsung, Bluetooth speakers, and state-of-the-art appliances from household names like Nespresso, Panasonic and Whirlpool. Ensuring that you seldom have to lift a finger as far as cleaning is concerned, a thrice-weekly housekeeping service is included in the rental price as are front desk and concierge facilities, desktop and printing, WiFi, taxi booking and restaurant reservations.
No self-respecting urbanite can do without a gym and gone are the days when anyone wanting to work out would be satisfied with a lone treadmill and a skipping rope. The Mercury’s fitness studio offers a range of cardio machines, free weights and workout balls on the first floor that is complete with green views. And if some open-air exercise is preferred, Hong Kong’s answer to Central Park—Victoria Park—is a short walk away.
Perhaps the pièce de résistance is the spacious rooftop terrace, to which all residents have access. Overlooking the city, it has barbecue facilities and seating—the perfect space for some quiet time or small gatherings with friends. You can also sit and stare at the myriad patterns within Tsui’s mural, which stretches for 14 metres along one of the rooftop’s walls and exploits the building’s harbour views and sunset lighting. The images depict water and associated elements as well as a brilliant orange phoenix to give the design a Hong Kong twist.
“The Mercury was very open to what I had in mind; it was all up to me,” explains Tsui. “I didn’t want [the mural] to be too aggressive [as] people would be relaxing on the rooftop.”
Although there is no in-house catering, residents only need to step out of The Mercury’s front door for daily wining and dining. Tin Hau and the nearby neighbourhood of Tai Hang are rising stars on the food front, with bars, cafés and restaurants constantly springing up. If these don’t suffice, The Mercury’s guests can easily access the bright lights of Causeway Bay and beyond via public transport, cars and taxis.
With all this on offer, who needs New York?
A: 23 Mercury Street, Tin Hau
T: 2842 4411