Within the 65-storey luxury Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur hotel opened on July 1 adjacent to the Petronas Twin Towers, Principals Ed Ng and Terence Ngan of AB Concept have designed three tangential food and beverage concepts of the utmost sophistication and functionality. Situated in the heart of the Malaysian capital, the restaurants showcase a smooth design confluence of diversity across Yun House, Bar Trigona and The Lounge at Four Seasons.
“We don’t focus on creating trends or crafting ‘luxury’, rather we think about the experience and the appeal to both the local market and travellers. With Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur, we wanted to create different environments that hint at Malaysia’s history teasing out different cultural aspects,” says Co-founder and Principal Ed Ng.
Yun House, Chinese restaurant
Ed and Terence design each and every space as a continuance of a story. The inspiration for Yun House, the Chinese restaurant, comes from the interplay of Chinese immigrant and Malaysian colonial history. The design brief behind Yun House tells the story of a son of a Canton master artist, who moved to Malaysia looking to make his mark in the world. The design experience takes guests on a tour of his home decorated in rich Chinese heritage and Malaysian details and paying homage to a multi-cultural background.
Guests entering Yun House will be greeted by the maitre d’ at the courtyard-like reception, where 152 pieces of blossoming flower engraved pewter forms a panel screen depicting the four seasons behind the illuminated onyx reception table. The bespoke plum blossoms, orchids, bamboo and chrysanthemum flower patterns together pay tribute to the four seasons known as the “Four Gentlemen” in Chinese cultural artistry. Traversing into the main dining room, a tea vestibule celebrates the Chinese heritage of tea pouring with shelves that line both sides of the corridor displaying pewter tea canisters often found in Malaysian homes.
The a la carte dining rooms, with 5 meter tall doors that accentuate the height of the room, serve also to reflect Malaysia’s culture of congregating in a courtyard as a common area to engage in conversation. The brightly-coloured flower fabric dining chairs takes the centre stage in contrast to the pewter grey base colour in the space. A total of 30 types of fabrics were used to add spotlight to the courtyard themed area. As an ode to colonial Malaysian homes, the large space is lined with shutters that open to mirror tall French windows hanging from the windows to represent traditional louvres that allow light and air flow.
Five private dining rooms fittingly named Bamboo, Orchid, Peony, Lotus and Azalea rooms, offer the most distinguished guests a view of the 10,000 meters of metal strip woven into detailed lattice work that took 46 months to craft, and a “cloudy” wall made of 20,000 pieces of ceramic discs.
The Lounge at Four Seasons
With a 230 degree view overlooking KLCC urban Park, the sixth-floor Lobby is a natural integration of the scenic park below, designed to look like an antique collector’s colonial home with pale greens and yellows against light shades of wood.
Rattan details seen in traditional Malaysian homes complement the light and airy atmosphere of the Malay-architecture inspired booths. An intimate sense of family is felt with the communal seating and large round seating alcoves that encourage interaction.
Detailed are further extended onto the flooring treatment where painted mosaic tile patterned rugs dress the floors while the walls are illuminated by 23 English gas lamp-inspired shades juxtaposed by 2 large stain glass inspired cabinet doors.
The two-levelled seating bar is illuminated by 52 strings of light and 715 pendant lamps, bringing elements of the shining lights and stars outside. Whilst hidden away from plain sight, the discreet getaway celebrates the art of Malaysian weaving techniques, adding texture for depth via leather, glass and bronze materials to balance out the 220 degree views of Kuala Lumpur’s urban jungle outside.
Over 15 types of imperial blue and teal fabrics adorn the walls and booths in Trigona Bar. The illuminated columns designed as shutters echo with colonial architecture, and serve as a display and storage for whiskey bottles. Eight Chinese yo-yo inspired lamps hang atop of the bartenders yoyoing back and forth mixing cocktails, and the 9,039 pieces of mirror on wall and ceiling provided a backdrop of twinkling stars.
“AB Concept has brought our contemporary vision to life with their exquisite and thoughtful design concepts inspired by the dynamic mix of culture and cosmopolitan energy found throughout modern day Kuala Lumpur,” said Tom Roelens, General Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur. “Capturing a sense of place – and wonder, each outlet has its own unique personality and identity, such as the floral and leave pattern motifs in Yun House to celebrate Cantonese culture or the symbolic rattan elements in Bar Trigona, ultimately elevating the guest experience with visual storytelling through the design elements.”
With projects of this scale, Ed and Terence often conceptualize, design and create over a 2-3 year span. Over the years, these large scale projects have given Ed and Terence the understanding that designing long-term means foregoing trends and instead focusing on story and experience as the key to timeless design.