Ed Ng and Terence Ngan complete stylish Asian restaurant in historic London landmark

We immediately began thinking of stories of Anglo-Chinese trading: the merchants and their silk, ceramics and tea, the way trading allowed them to influence each other's cultures. That became a very strong narrative for us
– Ed Ng, AB Concept

Ed Ng and Terence Ngan, the long-time collaborators at the helm of the international design studio AB Concept, have unveiled their first project in London: a luxurious Asian restaurant called Mei Ume.

Located within the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square – formerly the headquarters of the Port of London Authority – the design fuses Eastern and Western heritage.

Upon entering Mei Ume – which takes its name from the Chinese and Japanese words for ‘plum blossom’ – guests are met with a large suspended screen created using an enamel paint technique on glass.

The restaurant's focal point is a red lacquer frame holding an ornate three-layer gilded triptych. Each panel depicts a story and has been created through a multi-layer painting technique with glass overlays, allowing diners to see the work from a different perspective depending on the viewing angle.

All of the original columns from the building, constructed in 1922, remain intact and metal motifs have been erected on top of each to suspend three halo structures.

The bar is covered with a pavilion-like structure and illuminated with custom lanterns framed in black metal with patterned glass.

“The first thing we did after being commissioned was sit down with the heritage building expert and discover what we could and couldn’t be doing in this amazing space,” Ng told CLADglobal. “The next step was to find the right Asian story to bring into this very Western building.

“This can be a challenging process, particularly in a very old city where you come across literally hundreds and thousands of storylines. Luckily, we had the history of this building to inspire us. It’s also a stone's throw away from Tower Bridge, so we immediately began thinking of stories of Anglo-Chinese trading: the merchants and their silk, ceramics and tea, the way trading allowed them to influence each other's cultures. That became a very strong narrative for us.”

AB Concept spent three years working on the project, and Ng said that, due to various factors, architects and designers are seeing longer and longer intervals between the design and completion of hospitality projects.

“We always need to design for the future because people are always changing the way they live, work and relax – but if it takes years for a project to materialise, and then the finished space must be relevant for years after that, it becomes very hard," said Ng. "It means these days hospitality designers all have to be fortune tellers.”

Ng and Ngan’s forthcoming projects include the W Algrave hotel in Portugal, the Paper Moon Giardino seafood restaurant in Milan and renovation of the F&B spaces at the Beijing Hotel: a monumental 100-year-old building next to the Forbidden City.

Ed Ng  Terence Ngan  AB Concept  Four Seasons Ten Trinity Square  Port Authority HQ  Mei Ume  architecture  design 
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Ed Ng and Terence Ngan, the long-time collaborators at the helm of the international design studio AB Concept, have unveiled their first project in London: a luxurious Asian restaurant called Mei Ume. Located within the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square – formerly the headquarters of the Port of London Authority – the design fuses Eastern and Western heritage. Upon entering Mei Ume – which takes its name
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Located in the 1922 headquarters of the Port of London Authority at Ten Trinity Square, the design of Mei Ume fuses Eastern and Western heritage / AB Concept
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