On the hunt for Hong Kong’s most exclusive properties and developments, we head to Happy Valley and discover an address of unusual grace and space at 23-39 Blue Pool Road.
When it comes to luxury homes and properties in Hong Kong, there are many areas in the city that spring to mind. Mid-levels, The Peak, Tai Tam and Repulse Bay are prime examples, but there are very few that match up to what I’ve seen at this particular stretch of Happy Valley.
Besides the prestigious address and the well-known racecourse, Happy Valley is a neighbourhood that offers much more than it seems. Some of the city’s most historic buildings and distinguished private schools, boutiques and restaurants make this urban area what it is today — a far cry from the marshland it once was in the 1800s.
Indeed, Happy Valley today is one of the most sought-after residential locations in Hong Kong — and it’s also home to 23-39 Blue Pool Road.
Here, instead of the high-density or high-rise living that we’re used to, stand 18 semi-detached homes. The environment is quiet and tranquil — a quality we all yearn for in our bustling city — and its location is perfectly tucked between the mountainous interior of Jardine’s Lookout and the lively districts of Wan Chai and Causeway Bay.
The practice, which is best known for recently transforming New York’s Museum of Modern Art and designing the largest private real-estate development in US history — Hudson Yards in Manhattan — was brought in to design 23-39 Blue Pool Road. The two have also partnered on landmark projects across Hong Kong and mainland China; these include Tianjin’s Riverside 66 mall and the large-scale commercial complexes Spring City 66 in Kunming and, currently under development, Westlake 66 in Hangzhou.
James von Klemperer FAIA, RIBA, president and design principal with KPF Associates, explains that “whereas neighbourhoods in London, New York and Chicago were historically built with great three-, four- and five-storey homes, a series of houses forming its own street is a very unusual situation in Hong Kong because of the city’s topography and density”. The result seems to transport one to a different country almost, where space and openness are abundant.
Von Klemperer adds, “Semi-detached dwellings like this enable a lifestyle that’s very different from what’s normally possible in a typical Hong Kong apartment, or even a duplex.”
Upon entering the properties, more surprising elements await as all 18 houses at 23-39 Blue Pool Road feature their own private balconies, foyers, roof terraces, courtyards and garages — prized real-estate areas of outdoor space for enhanced living.
Privacy and sustainability were key considerations in the design. The facades of the properties were inspired by Chinese folding screens, which create a sense of separation between exterior and interior, but also ensure discreet views, both in and out, with a high degree of insulation, too. What’s more, a system of mechanical blinds helps to absorb sunlight and combat heat gain, the biggest culprit when it comes to energy consumption in Hong Kong buildings.
As we walk along the stretch, two spacious properties are showcased to illustrate the kind of luxury living and higher quality of life that can be enjoyed here.
The first, ouse A or The arisian Mansion, was designed by international hospitality-design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), with young couples and individuals in mind. According to HBA, the design focuses on “a timeless interior with a French/European flair that embraces a luxurious residential quality, while the inspiration for it stemmed from an idea to “create a sophisticated lived-in space that has its own character and personality”.
From the moment you step into 35A, that character is apparent across the board. The elegant European-style space feels clean and modern, but at the same time unique, with Asian aesthetics and elements blended in.
Spacial considerations were central in the planning of the property, too, and can be seen in the way all spaces and floors have been used and maximised with minimum compromise. One such example is the expansive second-floor master bedroom, which is connected to the large master bathroom, before leading on to the generously wide walk-in wardrobe; a smart and very practical use of the space.
On the partnership with Hang Lung Properties, HBA notes that close dialogue was crucial “throughout all design phases and the success of this project”.
Bespoke finishes and layers lend touches of character with pops of colour, texture or light to the rooms. When designing the home, HBA also curated an eclectic art collection to inject a sense of refined luxury that feels as contemporary as it does opulent.
Inside, the chic colour palette takes inspiration from French blue and grey tones, highlighted with reflective accents of silver and champagne Meanwhile, Italian marble floors, exotic wood veneers, hand-blown glass chandeliers and hand-tufted carpets add distinctive details of lush textures.
As an extension of the interior, the property’s rooftop makes use of the space most connected with nature — making open-air dining and entertaining an effortless occasion, too — while a whirlpool soaking tub adds to the unparalleled living experience offered at Blue Pool Road.
We continue our tour a few doors down at 39B. Named The Crystal, the design for this house was inspired by the crystalline exterior of the development and was executed by global architectural and design studio, PDP London.
Alexandra Byrne, director of PDP London further elaborates that the interior was designed to reflect the buildings exterior within the house “This is how we came to the idea of The Crystal; a luxurious expression of that same theme,” she explains. “I was also inspired by the fabulous, urban location and didn’t want to disengage with that on the inside.”
As this was Ds first project with ang Lung Properties, Byrne talks about the passionate teams on both sides and how “Hang Lung was instrumental in managing the process smoothly and added many great ideas to the project. It was a real collaboration.”
As I walk into the home, a calming story of green threads its way through the house, designed to bring a sense of the outside in. “It’s actually not a colour I’ve used much before, so we had to search for the perfect green stone and found an amazing Verde Antigua from the Middle East,” says Bryne. “I decided to do the entire Master Bathroom in this stone, even the cabinet doors.”
Moreover, green can be found naturally from the first-floor picture window that frames the outdoor landscape, while the courtyard and rooftop provide more space for lush green environments.
Honing in on the luxury of space and privacy, PDP’s design focus sees the master suite taking up the top floor, relocating the master bedroom to the back of the property, which overlooks the development’s green wall and waterfall.
“This gave us the space for a sensational master closet, one of the biggest we’ve completed in Hong Kong, completely custom-made in walnut,” Byrne said.
The suite is also attached to a master bathroom with fluted glass screens for privacy and a large lounge with study — using the whole floor as a private escape if need be.
Over and above the individual design of the properties, it’s obvious that what Blue Pool Road offers is overall appeal — blending Western style with Asian sensibilities seamlessly in a environment that affords space, privacy, nature and the utmost in luxury like no other property in Hong Kong.