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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Vi Cool in Hong Kong by Concrete Architectural Associates

September 11th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Concrete Architectural Associates

A new restaurant of Catalan chef Sergi Arola recently opened its doors in China, at the Harbour City shopping centre in Hong Kong. The renowned chef created the Vi Cool brand in addition to his Michelin star restaurants and his more contemporary restaurant Vi Roses as an expansion to his luxury venues. The new concept was developed as a restaurant where guests including Arola himself and his family and friends can enjoy the authentic Spanish cuisine in a more informal ambiance. Dining Concepts commissioned concrete to design the restaurant.

Image Courtesy © michael perini

  • Architects: Concrete Architectural Associates
  • Project: Vi Cool
  • Location: Hong Kong
  • Photography: michael perini
  • Project team: rob wagemans, ayca dogan, susanne schanz,  femke zumbrink,   erik van dillen.
  • General contractor: alliance engineers  ltd.
  • Fixed furniture: alliance engineers  ltd.
  • Loose furniture: thicas furniture
  • Lighting: wellfound ltd.
  • Metal constructions: alliance engineers  ltd.
  • Total area: 190 m2
  • Date: 19 october 2012


  • Floor: end grain wood,  black granite
  • Walls: hand-made tiles
  • Cabinets: raw steel
  • Tables: end grain wood, white marble

Image Courtesy © michael perini

Sergi Arola’s cuisine is characterised by a large respect for and understanding of authentic Spanish products, and he often presents unaltered Spanish recipes in a contemporary way. The interior concept is a strong identity created by bringing harmony between the menu, the character of the brand and the interior. At Vi Cool this harmony was realized by taking Sergi Arola’s cuisine as the starting point for the interior, and making typical Spanish products, authentic materials and Spanish colours part of the restaurant.

Image Courtesy © michael perini

Spain’s colourful daily life was reflected by using typical Spanish products, flavours, ingredients and colours as the basis for the cabinets which are filled with items such as bottles of sherry vinegar, tinned anchovies, bottles of wine and much more besides. The façade of the restaurant consists of blue, yellow and red transparent panels that create a smooth transition from the brightly lit passages of Harbour City into Vi Cool, while the eye-catching cabinets attract and welcome guests from afar.

Image Courtesy © michael perini


The restaurant has a terrace in one of the passages of the shopping centre with tile flooring that have an authentic floral print inspired by the streets of Barcelona. It is the perfect place to watch passers-by whilst enjoying a glass of sparkling cava wine or relax after a long day of shopping.

Image Courtesy © michael perini


Guests are welcomed at the reception desk at the entrance. The bar area of the restaurant is characterised by a lowered ceiling made of end grain wood and a black granite floor with high tables and chairs and a view into the open-plan kitchen. The floor of the kitchen and bar was raised to give the chef a podium and to provide him  an optimal overview of his guests and restaurant. The bar area offers guests the possibility to enjoy a drink and a bite with family and friends in a relaxed setting. It is surrounded with glass wine cabinets that offer a clear overview of the authentic Spanish wines available.

Image Courtesy © michael perini


Further inside is the classic restaurant area. With its high black ceiling, low-hanging lamps, low chairs and tables, chesterfield sofas and the light coming through the coloured panels of the façade, this area offers even more comfort and intimacy. The floor and ceiling materials from the bar area are mirrored in this area, with an end grain wooden floor and black ceiling. This area also features seats by the window that provide a stunning view over Hong Kong’s dynamic street life.

Image Courtesy © michael perini


Comprising a major part of the shop front, the cabinets are made in a raw steel frame with glass panels on the outside. Inside, the products are arranged and stacked by brand. Every row of products is supported by a raw steel shelf, but because they are stacked so tightly, these shelves are not visible and the products look like they are stacked on top of each other. There are also cabinets on both sides of the bar area, where they have rotating parts that offer access to the hidden storage and technical space of the restaurant.

Image Courtesy © Concrete Architectural Associates

Image Courtesy © Concrete Architectural Associates

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