Previously the preserve of bland high-rise tower blocks, Hong Kong’s Tin Hau district is upping its residential offering with an innovative wabi-sabi-inspired development that embraces the simplicity and raw beauty of nature.

‘In a busy city like Hong Kong, it is hard to find a place to soothe our nerves and have peace of mind,’ says Adrian Cheng, the Hong Kong-based executive vice-chairman and joint general manager of New World, the developers behind the recently competed 358-unit project.

Called The Pavilia Hill, the development comprises five blocks of 31 storeys linked by a sublime Japanese landscape garden created by Shunmyo Masuno, one of Japan’s most celebrated living landscape architects (who is also the 18th generation head priest of Kenkoh-ji temple, a Zen temple in Yokohama, and teaches architecture and interior design at Tama Art University). 

The elegantly executed space encourages peaceful introspection with a stone path that wends through a series of immaculately landscaped—yet seemingly uncalculated—undulating hills with sculptural rocks, Bonsai and man-made waterfalls. Each tower is defined by enormous stone sculptures representing mountains, water, existence, purity and sound.

Singapore-based Japanese interior designer Koichiro Ikebuchi was responsible for the facilities including a serene clubhouse, gymnasium, and the onsen-inspired indoor swimming pool and bath. Throughout, contemplative, quintessential modern and traditional Japanese materials are reflected in semi-translucent shōji screens, natural materials and simple textured walls. ‘I’ve used natural materials that will age in their own original and beautiful ways,’ he explains.

The bucolic tableaux include a semi-private lounge complete with a Japanese garden in each tower lobby, a contemporary tea pavilion showcasing an ethereal ink painting by the renowned Chinese artist Zheng Chongbin, and a secluded outdoor meditation space.

For Cheng, who studied art and culture in Kyoto, the project demonstrates a growing interest in living spaces that go beyond aesthetics to evoke an emotional connection.

Judging by the rate the units have been snapped up, it seems Hong Kong agrees.