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The Continental restaurant in Pacific Place recently underwent some changes to its decor. And while they might be hard to spot at first glance, they really have transformed the restaurant into an even better version of itself. 



Style by Asia spoke to the architect Hernan Zanghellini behind the facelift about the new direction, the subtle changes and why they didn't go for a full refurb while they were "at it" so to speak... Then have a look below and see, do you like the old or the new version better? I think we can all agree that an already good space has been transformed into a great one!


  1. The Continental is a relatively new restaurant, why did the client (Swire) come to you for a refresh so soon?

The restaurant had a great setting, the perfect outdoor terrace, nice materials and good details, but I feel it was a bit too open. While there have been a lot of positive feedback from guests on the interior since opening, the team was looking for a warmer feel in the restaurant as they had just brought on a new Restaurant Manager. Thus, we made it warmer to mirror the energy of the new team. Having worked with Swire Restaurants on the design of their other restaurants (i.e. Plat du Jour Quarry Bay and Plat du Jour Pacific Place, read Style by Asia's interview with Hernan about it here), we have a very good working relationship with the group. Then it all just started with a lunch invitation, catching up with them.


  1. What are the most significant changes made to the interior of The Continental?

Although it looks like quite subtle changes, a lot did actually happen! In general we softened and warmed the place up a notch…or two ;), clad the bare white columns and painted the white ceiling that was a very overpowering feature, and we broke the main space in three. It’s hard to point out one feature, as it was a lot of tweaking in all areas - the idea was not to significantly change the place but trying to keep the DNA intact.


  1. Why did you choose to introduce more beige, wood and metal accents?

There was a lot of strong beautiful green already present in the restaurant, and we wanted to add some variety without making a mess. The restaurant's visual interaction with the garden is very strong and staying within a palette of walnut, beige and the existing green felt like the right thing to do. We didn’t want to compete with the outdoors, but rather we wanted to integrate both spaces. The bronze was already there, in the main door and on the pendants that were my favourite features. All we did was to bring in a bit more of it to keep everything in balance and add some spark to the night mood.


  1. The changes are in most cases subtle, and not something you instantly recognise if you do not know of them. If you were refreshing the interiors, why did you not go for a totally different look? 

As mentioned earlier, the team loved the previous look but just want a little touch up while keeping the identity. My brief was to respect what we had and work around it. It wasn’t as easy a job as it might look. We spent a lot of time there, on site figuring out what it was that didn’t ‘feel’ right, as nothing was actually wrong with the place, every material they had originally picked was nice, proportions were good, detailing exquisite, nowhere near enough to justify starting from zero.


  1. We love the new look and for us, what most stands out in the dining area are the covering of the pillars, and the new, softer colour of the gorgeous ceiling. What is your favourite part of the new restaurant?

Thank you! You made my day… as I said, what was great about the job, is that although essentially it is still the same place, everything was touched. Like you, I like the cladding of the columns, the very subtle changes the sheer curtains brought, and I really like the new chairs, but as I said, if I list down the amount of things we changed you would not perhaps believe it :-)



The changes, are as Hernan explained many, but small.. It starts already at the entrance, where there used to be a sort of cafe area, with low tables and chairs. This has been changed to high tables and chairs and reflects the need for more bar seating! Already here you get a preview of the clad pillars.




Stepping further in, we face the bar. Old look and new look - subtle changes make the difference!




These following two images will show you the old ceiling, pillars and chairs.




The space has gone from feeling slightly sterile to cozy, inviting and truly elegant. Don't you agree?




And finally... Many small tables have been turned from a "cut off" style to a more flowing, inviting long one.

The chairs from the freestanding tables have been repurposed for this new setting, and new armchairs designed for the freestanding tables. Other new features include the wine fridges that slightly divides the room, but in a natural way.


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One thing I am glad they kept is the gorgeous lighting!


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      • 20141012_Swire_Continental_s1_final_b
      • TC_27Oct16_0575
      • Bar
      • Dining (4)
      • TC_26Oct16_0292
      • TC_26Oct16_0059
      • 20141012_Swire_Continental_s4_final
      • Dining (4)


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