Monmono Yellow: A Monochrome Art Insertion in the Heart of Hong Kong

A Unique Fusion of Restaurant, Gallery, and Art Piece

The Monmono Yellow project, designed by Alvan Suen, is a captivating fusion of a restaurant, gallery, and art piece. Inspired by the concept of monochrome and the bustling city of Hong Kong, this design aims to create a novel and surreal experience for visitors. With its iconic glowing arches, elegant curvature, and playful use of mirrors, Monmono Yellow stands as a monochrome art sculpture in the heart of the city.

The concept behind Monmono Yellow draws inspiration from architectural study models and the beauty of simple, pure white objects. The designer wondered what it would be like if an entire city was built using only one color. While this idea may be impossible to realize, Monmono Yellow inserts a mass of one single color into the urban context of Hong Kong, creating a striking contrast with the city's busy and colorful landscape.

The interior design of Monmono Yellow takes cues from architect Ricardo Bofill and the popular drama series "Squid Game." The space features a simple and clean pure color finish, with staircases that create a maze-like circulation, offering visitors an adventurous and intriguing experience. The illusional atrium, achieved through a reflective ceiling, and the mirrored stair art installation add depth and visual interest, reminiscent of the captivating scenes in "Squid Game."

What sets Monmono Yellow apart is its unique combination of being a restaurant, gallery, and art piece. With its brand core of montage, monochrome, and monogram, this project positions itself as an urban art insertion, expressing its obsession with monochrome. The entire structure is fully finished in yellow and gold, enveloping visitors in a surreal world of art. The use of signature arches, the stair art installation, and playful mirrors create an abstract and artistic space, transforming Monmono Yellow into a living art sculpture.

The realization of Monmono Yellow involved a combination of on-site construction and pre-fabrication. Many of the construction elements were pre-fabricated in the factory to ensure precise finishing and an efficient workflow. Custom-made materials, such as terrazzo for the tables, were used to achieve the desired color tone. Throughout the design process, extensive computer rendering was employed to test different materials, lighting conditions, and color temperatures. Virtual reality walk-throughs were also created to facilitate communication with the construction team on-site.

Monmono Yellow spans an area of 2097 sq.ft. and has a capacity of 47. Its location in Central, Hong Kong, adds to its appeal as a vibrant and dynamic urban art installation. The project commenced in March 2022 and was completed in August 2022, showcasing the efficiency and dedication of the design team.

Monmono Yellow is not only a visually stunning design but also a platform for local artists to showcase their work and exchange ideas. By inserting single-color restaurants into different parts of the city, Monmono aims to promote monochrome as an art form and inspire artists to explore the possibilities within this limited color palette. The project has successfully attracted visitors and sparked creativity among artists, resulting in a flourishing local art scene.

The design of Monmono Yellow presented several challenges, particularly in creating contrast and texture within the monochrome style. The use of different materials, textures, lighting techniques, and shades of yellow and gold became crucial in achieving the desired visual impact. Sourcing materials that matched the desired color tone proved to be another challenge, relying heavily on the availability of specific products from suppliers.

The existing functional staircases in the building posed another challenge, which was overcome by celebrating them as features rather than obstacles. The spatial arrangement and utilization of the staircases were carefully considered to enhance the overall design and flow of the space.

Monmono Yellow has garnered recognition for its outstanding design. It was awarded the Bronze A' Design Award in the Interior Space, Retail, and Exhibition Design category in 2023. This prestigious award recognizes designs that exhibit strong technical and creative skills, contributing to improvements in quality of life and making the world a better place.

Monmono Yellow is a testament to the power of monochrome as an art form and its ability to create a captivating and immersive experience. With its fusion of a restaurant, gallery, and art piece, Monmono Yellow stands as a unique and thought-provoking addition to the vibrant city of Hong Kong.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Alvan Suen
Image Credits: Photographer: Tim Lau
Project Team Members: Alvan Suen
Project Name: Monmono Yellow
Project Client: Alvan Suen

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