Hong Kong museum restaurant by Joyce Wang
features "spiral staircase" chandeliers

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Movie: in our next exclusive video interview from Inside Festival, interior designer Joyce Wang discusses the custom-made fittings and furniture she designed for Ammo bar and restaurant in Hong Kong.

Ammo bar and restaurant in Hong Kong by Joyce Wang

Ammo, which won the Bars and Restaurants category at last month's Inside Festival, is part of a new museum and headquarters for the Asia Society in Hong Kong.

Ammo bar and restaurant in Hong Kong by Joyce Wang

"It was previously an ammunition storage facility that the British used to store explosives about a hundred years ago," Wang explains. "We were asked by the client to convert the space into a museum café and from that a more luxurious and high-end dining experience was born."

Ammo bar and restaurant in Hong Kong by Joyce Wang

Despite only having three months to take the project from design conception to completion, Wang says that most of the furniture and fittings were custom-made for the project, including three sculptural chandeliers shaped like spiral staircases.

Ammo bar and restaurant in Hong Kong by Joyce Wang

"Practically everything apart from the lightbulbs [was custom designed]," Wang claims. "We didn't want people to identify any of the furnishings, accessories or bits of furniture."

Ammo bar and restaurant in Hong Kong by Joyce Wang

She continues: "The space has three feature staircase chandeliers. We worked closely with the fabricator and lighting consultant on how to use plumbing pipes to construct these really complicated forms and have electricity running through them."

Ammo bar and restaurant in Hong Kong by Joyce Wang

Wang says she wanted the restaurant to be dramatic because many people would use the space to enter the museum as well as eat there.

Ammo bar and restaurant in Hong Kong by Joyce Wang

"The arrival experience was very important to us," she says. "Instead of conceiving of it as a museum café it became this lobby of arrival for the museum. We wanted it to have different clues as to what was going to happen upstairs in the museum."

Ammo bar and restaurant in Hong Kong by Joyce Wang

"A lot of people visit the restaurant and they don't realise that the bunker-like ceiling pays tribute to the vaulted ceiling of the museum above."

Ammo bar and restaurant in Hong Kong by Joyce Wang

The restaurant has been very successful since it opened, Wang claims.

"There's a two-month-long waiting list and it's difficult to get into, especially for dinner," she says. "I think it's an interesting space because from lunchtime to dinner it really feels quite different."

Joyce Wang portrait
Joyce Wang. Copyright: Dezeen

This movie was filmed at Inside Festival 2013, which took place at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 2 to 4 October. The next Inside Festival will take place at the same venue from 1 to 3 October 2014. Award entries are open February to June 2014.