Steve Leung is one of Hong Kong’s design giants. Born and raised here and educated at HKU earning architecture and urban planning degrees, he spun his 1987 consultancy into Steve Leung Architects Limited and Steve Leung Designers Limited in 1997. With a portfolio that includes the Hyatt, Crowne Plaza, Grand Lisboa’s The Eight, Inagiku, retail, commercial space, product and countless private residences, Leung’s next venture is with yoo and Hong Kong’s first branded residence in Causeway Bay. Square Foot chats with Leung.
Can you tell us a little about how you came to be involved with yoo on the Causeway Bay project?
Besides of being the Founder and Managing Director of Steve Leung Designers, I established a chi lifestyle brand called 1957 & Co. in 2007 for F&B businesses. I also joined Couture Homes Ltd as vice chairman in 2012 and was in charge of the design plans for their high-end luxury residential projects.
With Haute Couture as its blueprint concept, Couture Homes specialises in crafting special residences made to order for private clients, with projects like The Hampton in Happy Valley. For yoo Residence, we had the vision to establish a premier, branded residence in Hong Kong. This is the reason we work with yoo and I am grateful to have worked with them on developing its first residential project in the territory.
I’m sure you have your own “defining” style. Did you have to change the way you approached this project given yoo’s identity or was it the other way around?
I don’t really stick to a particular kind of design style but I would say that I am an advocate of contemporary styles. I prefer minimal, elegant, and functional designs, which incorporate unique cultural and arts elements relevant to each particular project. In this project, I deliberately fused yoo’s unique design elements, which are dramatic, playful and elegant, with my own ethos. The fusion of the two distinctive styles makes powerful synergy.
What are you hoping the final product will “feel” like: a Steve Leung home or a yoo home, or a combination?
Definitely a combination! I hope the final product is a revolutionary mix of Steve Leung Designers and yoo, and both of our defining design essences can be traced.
Is it correct to call this a Couture Homes work and not Steve Leung Design? Are the two very different in how they work?
I would say that this is both Couture Homes and Steve Leung Design. Yoo Residence is a collaboration of Couture Homes and yoo, as well as the first collaboration project of Steve Leung and yoo. Couture Homes is a property developer while Steve Leung Designers is an interior design consultancy. Surely the scope is different but correlated and the two companies share the same vision.
You’re not a small, experienced studio. Have you worked on branded residential projects in the past?
We have worked with branded developers for hospitality projects before, and indeed, this is my first time to work with a branded developer for residential project. I am honoured to take part in it and enjoyed the synergy and chemistry between us. Good news is that I have joined yoo’s family and become the Creative Director of “Steve Leung & yoo.” I truly look forward to exciting and creative collaborations in the near future.
What would you really like to try your hand at in the future?
I hope I can design and own a boutique hotel in the future. I’m the kind of person who loves to stay at different hotels and enjoys the remarkable experiences and inspiration the stays give me, while as a designer I think having a design-oriented boutique hotel could bring me great contentment.