Foster + Partners designs first-class
cabin for Cathay Pacific

| 5 comments

Foster + Partners Cathay Pacific First Class cabin

News: London architecture firm Foster + Partners has redesigned the first-class cabins for Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific.

Created for Cathay Pacific's Boeing 777-300ER fleet, the cabin features white leather, reflective dark grey surfaces, handmade wool carpet and walnut finishes. A reading light was custom-designed to cast fewer shadows when working or dining.

Foster + Partners designs first-class cabin for Cathay Pacific

The project follows the firm's refurbishment of The Wing lounges for Cathay Pacific at the airline's headquarters in Hong Kong International Airport, which was itself designed by Foster + Partners and completed in 1998.

"Our challenge has been to take the design principles of the new lounges into the aircraft, while working within stringent safety requirements and retaining Cathay Pacific’s award-winning seat," said Foster + Partners' head of industrial design Mike Holland.

This is Foster + Partners' first airline cabin, though the firm is famous for its airports and completed the world’s first space terminal for tourists in 2011.

Foster + Partners designs first-class cabin for Cathay Pacific

More airline design on Dezeen includes Hella Jongerius' business-class cabin for Dutch airline KLM, a first-class cabin with sofas and wardrobes by Priestmangoode for Brazilian airline TAM and an aeroplane seat that converts into a 2.2-metre-long bed Pengelly Design for Virgin Atlantic.

Foster + Partners designs first-class cabin for Cathay Pacific
The Wing lounges at Hong Kong International Airport

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The Cabin

Following the successful refurbishment of The Wing, Cathay Pacific’s flagship lounge at Hong Kong International Airport, the practice has carried the lounge’s sophisticated design into the first class cabin of the Boeing 777-300ER fleet. The project to refresh the award-winning cabin is the first time that the practice has designed the interior and furnishings for a commercial aircraft.

To create a seamless experience for passengers, the cabin’s design shares the lounge’s palette of warm white leather, reflective dark grey surfaces and walnut finishes to create a calm, understated interior. Every element has been considered and refined, including the stitch of the bespoke covers for Cathay Pacific’s celebrated first class seat, the handmade woollen carpet, the refurbished bathrooms and the new reading light, which has been custom-designed to cast fewer shadows when working or dining.

Foster + Partners designs first-class cabin for Cathay Pacific
The Wing lounges at Hong Kong International Airport

The Wing, Hong Kong International Airport

Opened earlier this year, The Wing is the second in a series of lounges by Foster + Partners for Cathay Pacific at Hong Kong International Airport and provides business and first class spaces on levels six and seven. Every detail of the interiors, from the Champagne Bar to the bathroom fittings in the luxurious first class ‘cabanas’, has been custom-designed by the practice to create an exceptional experience for guests.

The design reinforces the relationship with the building and with views of the outside world, connecting the interiors to the light-filled space beneath the airport’s soaring roof. To create a dramatic sense of arrival, the double-height reception space for business class passengers at level 6 is open to views of the floor above and roof canopy beyond, and incorporates a black glass lift and grand black marble staircase. The transition from security, to first-class lounge, to gate is equally seamless. The first class reception area, with its specially-commissioned wall of illuminated glass fins, allows guests a glimpse of the large, open balcony, while retaining a sense of exclusivity.

Foster + Partners designs first-class cabin for Cathay Pacific
The Wing lounges at Hong Kong International Airport

The business class lounge features a morning Coffee Loft and Cathay Pacific’s signature ‘The Long Bar’, a 23-metre long custom-built ‘statuario white’ carrara marble bar overlooking the runway. The redesigned Noodle Bar has been placed beneath the arc of the roof canopy, where it is open to natural light. In addition, first class passengers can enjoy a champagne bar, a reading space stocked with magazines and newspapers and ‘The Haven’, an à la carte and buffet restaurant. A unique highlight of the first class lounge is a series of five individual ‘Cabanas’ – inspired by hotel suites, these private spa rooms incorporate a day bed and bathroom to provide the ultimate space to relax while travelling. Business class passengers also have access to 24 luxurious travertine-lined shower suites at level 6.

Echoing the materials used in the Cabin, the Wing business class areas combines a luxurious palette of white carrara marble, black honed granite, caramelised bamboo and travertine stone; while the first class areas are set apart by the use of ‘nero marquina’ black polished marble, gloss-lacquered eucalyptus and reflective black glass. The attention to detail and quality extends to the selection of materials – every piece of stone used in the lounges was carefully chosen at source in Italy and China by the design team.

The lounges are furnished with a number of unique pieces designed by Foster + Partners, including a marble reception desk, food counter and a free-standing champagne bar with integrated trays – everything has been designed, down to the detail of porcelain plates. The Solus Chair, which was developed specifically for the lounges, has been specially customised for the first class lounge in soft burgundy upholstery and a black lacquered shell. For the business class lounge, it has been produced in grey or tan leather with a white surround. Alongside the bespoke products and one-off furniture pieces, The Wing also features the Ilium cylindrical table light, developed with Nemo and the Foster 503 armchair by Walter Knoll.

  • gabs

    I couldn’t imagine a more boring task for an architect than designing an airplane cabin.

    • Gavin

      Laying out toilets – there’s one.

      • gabs

        You must be a poor architect if your whole task is laying out toilets.

  • david

    Looks comfy.

  • CathyArmus

    I’ll pay more attention when they make some upgrades for the poor squashed passengers flying economy class (including me).