|Pier 3 where ferries arrive and depart for Discovery Bay from Central|
With the recent death of Andrée Putnam (19 Janaury 2013), the French interior designer, I revisited some of her famous designs. Underlying her work is a real appreciation for geometry and space. The famous black and white checkerboard tiles and geometric carpets became her signature style. She had a real sense for using space, furniture with strong geometric lines and staircases with dramatic symmetries or spirals.
Landscape architecture and planning also require a sense of space and materials. For some time I have been obsessed with patterns, tiles and paving materials, trying to understand the sensibility that informs the urban environment of Hong Kong. When asked, very few people have commented upon the pervasive use of pink in the city…and no one whose hometown this is. Colour is culture specific. When I put the question to local Hong Kongers about the prolific use of pink in the city, they did not respond….and expressed almost an incredulity about the word ‘pink’…..which is of course a red hue mixed with white, yet the word exists in both Putonghua (Mandarin) and Cantonese - tao hong se. As far as I can gather, there is no specific symbolic association to pink in China apart from being regarded as a feminine colour.
|Decorative paving and outdoor seating near Pier 3|
From the water’s edge, along the elevated walkways and the Mid-level escalator, the main geometry is the square, interspersed with rectangles. From the culture of the moon gate, circles are sparse as you go along this urban route from the sea to the mountain.
|The rotunda below IFC Tower 1|
|Mid-level escalator across Queen's Road Central|
A more modest rotunda is to be found on the escalator across Queens Road Central where the old Central Market, the building called 100 Queens Road Central and the escalator meet. This rotunda is only expressed in the roof covering the escalator and is not echoed at floor level.
|This small display is one of several panda installations|
In the IFC Mall, on a wash of shiny pale pink flooring, I found some black and white – gigantic, soft cuddly pandas frolicking about for the Chinese New Year - a reminder of the concerted efforts being made to integrate mainland China and Hong Kong.