The Artifact Bar in Hong Kong looks straight out of a vintage sci-fi classic

By Joy Ling 14 July, 2023

As far as bars go, this is one we would be forgiven for taking too many photos in

It’s an unspoken rule that bars are as much the quality and ingenuity of tipples as their characterised interiors. Whether a rugged speakeasy or breezy rooftop lounge, impressing patrons with the ambience is half the battle won. Hong Kong’s Artifact Bar easily checks the mark on that aspect with its sublime sci-fi dreamscape.

The bar is designed by no stranger to the scene. Nelson Chow of NC Design + Architecture (Foxglove, Please Don’t Tell, Dr Fern’s Gin Parlour) took the reins, where futuristic elements take inspiration from—surprisingly enough—the serpentine architecture of underground cisterns.

Artifact bar interior. Photo by Nelson Chow

You will encounter the entrance somewhere unexpected; almost hidden in Jardine House’s luxury BaseHall food court in Central, marked by pipe-like circular windows and already, an unmistakable industrial aesthetic. Lights remind of surveillance-cameras as you move along a passage with walls utterly clad in 3D perforated tiles that are purposed for acoustic-proofing but also add to the charm.

Eyes then travel straight to the sculptural drama that is the main bar, inspired by an aircraft cocktail bar, followed by the bold swooping curves that form a smooth cavern. The detailed furnishing of expansive arches across a low mirrored ceiling not only add to the visual texture, but is cleverly devised to create an illusion of height above the striking yet sleek silhouette.

Main bar. Photo by Nelson Chow

The faux skylight reminisces a setting sun’s soft glow, enhancing the otherwise minimalist white space with a warm touch. Surrounding booths upholstered in exquisite ivory leather blending seamlessly into the walls, bar chairs and stools bearing distinct structure are all pieces custom-designed by Chow. The absence of an excessive colour palette only add intrigue to the sinuous and symmetrical frame of space, effortlessly hosting your drinking experience for the night.

Artifact Bar