The challenge in designing a series of airline lounges for Cathay Pacific at Hong Kong International Airport was to create spaces that would harmonise with the existing building while offering an entirely new experience for the traveller. At a functional level, the scheme broadens the experience of Cathay’s first and business class facilities into four quite different but complementary lounges. The range of amenities has been extended, from meeting rooms and bars to private ‘cabanas’, where passengers can retreat into travertine-lined bathroom suites.
‘The Cabin’, the first lounge to be completed, is located close to the airline’s departure gates. The linear arrangement of its spaces echoes the principles of transparency, natural light and clarity of movement, which guided the design of the terminal itself. Within easy reach of the reception is a drop-in IT zone, followed by a delicatessen, a health bar and more private relaxation areas, all with airside views. A reflective ceiling projects daylight deep into the space, while a rich palette of materials, combining leather upholstery and white marble, is designed to reintroduce a little glamour to international air travel. The second lounge in the series, ‘The Wing’ provides business-class spaces, including the airline’s signature ‘long bar’ – a 23-metre white marble cocktail bar overlooking the runway. First class guests also enjoy a variety of spaces, from a champagne bar to the privacy of quiet reading areas or five ‘cabana’ suites; these exclusive areas are differentiated by a palette of black polished marble, gloss-lacquered eucalyptus and black glass.
The Cathay Solus Chair, which can be specified in a range of colour combinations and finishes, was designed specifically for the Cathay Pacific lounges, with the aim of creating a private retreat in the midst of what can be a busy public space. The chair’s hourglass form, integrating a wide cushioned seat, table and power supply, was the result of studies into the ways that guests tended to adapt the existing lounge furniture. The lacquered shell is a foil for soft leather upholstery and the chair is designed to function as part of a cluster, as well as providing a secluded space in which to eat, work or relax.