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André fu

André Fu is a Hong Kong-based architect who leads design studio AFSO. He studied architecture in the United Kingdom, before returning to hong kong in 2004. Fu is the designer of many major luxury hotels, such as the Upper House in Hong Kong, Villa La Coste in provence, Singapore’s fullerton bay hotel, and the opus suite at the Berkeley London. ‘I regard myself as an approach-driven architect and I believe my role is to interpret my clients’ vision into a spatial narrative, says Fu.
Kioku, Four Seasons Seoul 2015 

In his career so far, André Fu has already developed a trademark style that utilizes proportion, light, and space in conjunction with the use of tactile materials. Fu takes influence from artists like constantin brâncuși and mark rothko as well as Italian architects Gio Ponti and Carlo Scarpa — creatives whose modern shapes and sculptural forms are also apparent in Fu’s work. The primary emphasis of his work has been to create luxurious interiors that seek to define a new generation of ‘relaxed luxury’.
To understand more about the architect’s work, we spoke with andré fu about his background, his approach to luxury hotel design, and which creatives working today he most admires.

yu cun, a bamboo-clad restaurant in haitang bay, China, 2016

Q: What originally made you want to become a designer?
André Fu: I have always been fascinated with the notion of how environments can stimulate or arouse an emotional response in people. It is intriguing to see how people behave differently depending on their surroundings and it remains an aspect in design that continues to inspire me, especially in the world of hospitality.

yu cun, a bamboo-clad restaurant in haitang bay, China, 2016
Q: Which particular aspects of your background and upbringing have shaped your design principles?
AF: I was born in the east and I spent over 14 years in the United Kingdom for my later education. My exposure to both cultures has enriched my view of the world. It has also allowed me to embrace the sensibilities of different cultures, creating design solutions rooted in my understanding of each countries heritage. I also hope to create designs that are relevant to the urbanistic world we are living in today. 
Q: What are some of the themes that unite all your projects?
AF: The pursuit of relaxed luxury — a sense of luxury that is not limited by formality, it is more genuine and honest in a way.

the Upper House, Hong Kong, 2009
Q: Do you see a difference in approach/style to hospitality design in eastern versus western cultures?
AF: I guess the desire for a new generation of ‘relaxed luxury’ is shared among the current age of modern travelers — after all, the high-end niche consumer has experienced everything in life and they are very particular in terms of what is meaningful and fulfilling to their desires. I would, however, state that I aim to celebrate a project’s sense of place — the ability to borrow something that is specific to the location is key.


the Upper House, Hong Kong, 2009
Q: What is most important to you when you stay in a hotel?
AF: How the pragmatic considerations merge with the aesthetics — I believe the two go hand in hand.

the tac tile collection, Andre Fu living for lasvit, 2016

Q: What is the most challenging stage of designing the interior of a high-end hotel?
AF: The duration of the project — typically a hotel project would take from 4 to 6 years to realize. Given that we are living in the age of social media where everything is instantaneous, I believe the persistence required to drive a vision forward, especially in the realization of something related to hospitality and lifestyle, becomes very challenging.


the tac tile collection, Andre Fu living for lasvit, 2016
Q: What are you passionate about besides your design work?
AF: The world of contemporary art.


Louis Vuitton apartment (boudoir), Hong Kong, 2014
Q: Which architects or interior designers working today do you most admire?
AF: Gio Ponti, Peter Zumthor, Kengo Kuma, and interior designer John Morford.

Four Seasons, Motif, Tokyo, 2015
Q: Can you tell us about any interesting projects you are currently working on?
AF: The studio is working on a number of high profile projects due to unveil in 2017, including Tokyo’s galerie perrotin, as well as Villa La Coste in aix-en-provence.

the Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore, 2010
Q: What is the best advice you have received, and what advice would you give to young architects and designers?
AF: To remain passionate and curious at all times, and to understand that persistence is key.

urban landscape, COS, Hong Kong, 2015
urban landscape, COS, Hong Kong, 2015
skyliner by Andre Fu living, 2016
fargesia, 2016
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