Most cigar connoisseurs would agree that the most enjoyable part of the experience is the pure relaxation of lighting up a good cigar, followed by fine conversations with desired company that usually accompanies. It was this sentiment that drove acclaimed designer Steve Leung to create Club C+ - an exclusive private social lounge in the heart of Central. Envisioning a refined lifestyle space, the name Club C+ recalls the hidden meaning of ‘private home’ in Cantonese, (私家), at the same time alluding to secluded privacy and comfort, where the sophisticated set can bond oer Cantonese delicacies, fine wines, rare cigars and exceptional art pieces. An avid art collector, Leung has also staged his contemporary collection at the club to create a personal gallery for exclusive appreciation – they include the works of Asian masters - including Lalan, Li Huayi, Zhou Chunya and Kim Tschang-yeu – and these works change on a regular basis to constantly engage and surprise the senses.
Designed with a focus on Chinese contemporary aesthetics blended with British accents, Steve Leung Design has thoughtfully planned the social areas to meet different demands of usage; for the two lounges with contrasting colour combinations, each zone is designed for small group gatherings and connects seamlessly to a private dining room which hosts up to 12. Mahogany wood sliding panels with the bead-blasted black metal screen over frosted glass serve as a subtle transition between the areas, to optimize spatial fluidity. When these panels are closed, a Chinese Moon Gate is formed, resembling the archetype of a pedestrian passageway in traditional Chinese gardens. The piece de resistance is a customised, lavishly furnished cigar humidor room which sits behind the bar, housing premiere cigars from different terroirs.
For this unique setting, lighting was essential to the design, thus celebrated master, Tino Kwan was entrusted with creating an immersive experience. Understanding that creating the right ambience and mood was key at the outset, Kwan expertly chose a range of decorative lights to create the layers and shades needed for to evoke different personalities throughout the arenas. He says, “one needs to be able to relax and feel comfortable in the environment to be able to really enjoy oneself, whether it’s the cigars, unwinding with friends or wine appreciation, so the lighting has to be soothing yet layered. As the interior design and curation of furnishings, fittings and art is already so elevated, the lighting has to ensure there are the right focal points in the key areas, yet all around, it has to strike the perfect balance.” Naturally, such a project did not come without challenges, challenges Kwan shares, when resolved, resulted in an even more desirable result. “This is not a huge space so a statement lighting piece wouldn’t work so well. We selected smaller light fittings with well controlled beam angles so there would be no awkward spill lights. In the cigar room, it was all about enhancement - the lighting had to ensure all the labels and humidors could be clearly seen. In the private dining room (where the ceilings are quite low), we needed to evade pendant lights and style wise, wanted something more contemporary and architectural. Alcove lights were out of the question, as we had to work around technical beams, so we ended up choosing a ring of small downlights, which illuminates the table and the company you’re dining with beautifully.”