The famous AMMO restaurant in Hong Kong by interior designer Joyce Wang.
In a setting unmatched anywhere in Hong Kong, AMMO draws inspiration from the historical, architectural and cultural significance of its location. A former explosives magazine compound created by the British army in the mid-19th century, the site underwent a conversion by renowned New York-based architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien and is now the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. The team behind AMMO is local celebrity chef and restaurateur Tony Cheng, together with his mentor, Chef Roland Schuller from The Drawing Room. Their vision is to serve simple, elegant and affordable cuisine with unpretentious service. They want guests to enjoy the salubrious surroundings without the fussiness and stuffiness associated with other fine dining establishments.
Led by Joyce Wang, WANG Studios embraced the unique opportunity to create a cinematic experience in an interior space. The team drew inspiration from the film noir masterpiece, Alphaville, a 1965 science fiction film directed by Jean-Luc Godard that explores the connection between art, technology and society.
The central feature of the space is a set of three sculptural spiral staircases (a recurring theme of the film) constructed as chandeliers purely out of copper plumbing pipes and cascading from the six-meter high ceiling. The shades of the chandeliers are crafted out of bent copper mesh and rods, a reference to materials used in military and industrial settings. The bunker-like ceiling is supported by copper ribs and lit warmly to further reference the explosives magazine history.
The copper mural on the feature wall behind the bar, another dramatic feature, will have diners pondering the design narrative with clues revealing the site's history and significance. The surreal yet modern interiors are cossetted by lush greenery visible through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Nestled within this stunning landscape backdrop, AMMO is a veritable dining retreat and a pleasant surprise in the midst of bustling Hong Kong.