House of Madison
“a lot of showrooms tend to feel sterile and transactional, we steered away from that approach by focusing on an experience that emphasises personal exploration, discovery, and creation”
House of Madison, Hong Kong recently opened its doors to a new showroom in the heart of the city’s Wanchai district. Designed by architecture and interior studio via., the multi-brand flagship space pays homage to the historic shophouses in the neighbourhood with modern and luxurious touches.
Home to premium lifestyle and kitchen brands bulthaup, Rimadesio, Sub-Zero & Wolf and more, House of Madison covers 5,200 sqft over two stories of a cavernous retail space that was once a car showroom. Inspired by the history of Wanchai, via. has injected new life into the space by creating a sequence of interior ‘scenes’, taking away the formerly cold and utilitarian ambiance through a blend of rhythmic and innovative structural elements.
“To create a dialogue with the context, we envisaged the project as if it was an existing shophouse, where the ground level is transformed into a new public-facing component that evolves as time goes on, while the upper floor is our interpretation of a refined living space,” explains Frank Leung, founder and principal of via.
The showroom’s main entrance opens into a gallery-like, interior courtyard on the ground floor. More than just a retail shop, it has been transformed into a multi-purpose platform for rotating design shows, exhibitions, and events. The true pièce de résistance of this floor is a dramatic limestone staircase, which exudes a composed grandeur. Its generous landing is designed to allow different social possibilities, including a stage for engaging in talks and discussion, with seating for an audience. Ascending with the stairs is a double-height arch, directing attention upwards and tying together the two floors with a sense of architectural nostalgia.
Upon landing on the first floor, one’s eyes are drawn to a series of arches. Fashioned in bronze mesh, the arch become a key design motif of the ‘House’ and adds a sense of curiosity to the social spaces beyond it – an open bar and dining area, a premium open kitchen, and a conversation nook – all of which spread along the vast picture windows to afford views of the bustling piazza below.
“Rather than the conventional solid arch, we were keen to show them as layers of veils,” says Leung. “A tremendous feat of engineering, the bronze mesh folds and bends to create precise openings, and is anchored by an ultra-slim bronze frame to get the ideal curvature for framing different interior scenes.”
“The arch is a subliminal reference to the brands, many of which trace back to European heritage. It is also one of the most recognizable architectural forms that symbolises the concept a house.”
Beyond the social areas are two enclosed spaces defined by sumptuous glass walls and sliding panels, including a private dining room and a Rimadesio walk-in wardrobe. An inviting lounge is linked to these rooms to offer a quiet space for informal chats or cosy drinks, featuring handpicked lounge chairs and customised décor.
As with any fine home, via. has selected stylish furniture pieces and fabrics to embellish the interiors. Handcrafted furniture pieces from Wittmann, Viabizzuno lights and commissioned area rugs all sit pride of place alongside other signature brands inside this multilayered showroom.