The Murray, Hong Kong offers both guests and visitors luxurious experiences whilst enabling a forward-thinking social and environmental responsibility. The nature of the project itself is that of sustainability, from the adaptive reuse of a 25 storey iconic government building that was decommissioned in 2009 and given a new lease of life as a luxury hotel through a carefully considered redevelopment process by Foster + Partners. The goal of the project while allowing future generations to enjoy this heritage monument and an opportunity to discover new styles, tastes and cultures through its unique signature experiences.
The Murray is one of eight spotlight projects under the Hong Kong government’s Conserving Central Initiative, which has undergone a US$1 billion restoration and conversion since 2013. However, the restoration was an evolution of the original environmentally-conscious design by original architect of the building, Ron Phillips in 1969. Highlighting the pioneering and forward-thinking design by Phillips, the building was awarded with the Energy Efficient Building Award for its innovative design and sustainable architecture in 1994; 25 years after its completion.
The existing structure has been preserved while upgrading other aspects to extend the life of the building. Foster + Partners have retained the recessed windows due to their irreplaceable value in both architectural heritage and sustainability, whilst increasing their size to ensure guests have maximum visibility of the panoramic city views across the Central district. One of the primary aims of the restoration project was to reconnect the building with the city at ground level, where it had been close off previously by the car-centric environment synonymous with Hong Kong in the 1970s. The newly landscaped outdoor spaces provide a green oasis for both guests and general public seeking a contemporary chic sanctuary from the bustling city. The design ensured the preservation of the site’s Cassia Javanica tree, aged at over a hundred years old and listed on the government’s register of Old and Valuable Trees (OVT) in Hong Kong.
Norman Foster, Founder and Executive Chairman of Foster + Partners, comments: “The preservation and reinvention of The Murray is the ultimate example of sustainability. By creating a dialogue between the old and the new, we have given the building a new lease of life, while upgrading and enhancing its sustainability credentials.”
Some examples of the sustainability efforts implemented at The Murray include the serving of Antipodes, the first and only ‘carboNZero’ certified water, from New Zealand which leaves no carbon footprint throughout the process of production to distribution. After use, the bottles, along with other discarded glass items are sent to a local plant for recycling.
In addition, all restaurants and bars at The Murray use 100% biodegradable straws made from potato starch to accompany tall drink orders.
Guestrooms and suites are fitted with LED lighting which offer both a dimming option and are motion sensitive to minimise unnecessary electricity usage. This is also reciprocated throughout the hotel including meeting and event spaces with 90% of lighting being made of up of LEDs and almost all back-of-house spaces fitted with motion sensitive lighting.
The Murray, Hong Kong partners with Grown Alchemist, an Australian brand known for its revolutionary formulas, to offer guests skin and hair care products that inflict less pollution on nature during the manufacturing process than other environmentally conscious brands. The products are organic and have an animal test-free policy, aligning with The Murray’s pet friendly policy.
“The transformation of an old government office into a luxury hotel is a great example of extending the life of the building many years into the future. The Murray, Hong Kong is the preservation of one of city’s most iconic landmarks. Guests will enjoy discovering subtle touches around the hotel that will make their stay memorable,” said Duncan Palmer, Managing Director.
For more information on The Murray, please visit themurrayaniccolohotel.com.