A photography gallery that translates camera elements into spatial experience. f22 foto space is an award-winning photography gallery in Hong Kong dedicated to photography and design. Designed by LAAB Architects in collaboration with Carlow Architecture & Design, f22 offers exhibitions, a photo book shop, a camera boutique, and a lovely café.
To create a cinematic entrance, the design team studied camera development and used design elements from various generations of the camera lens to design the door. Paired with smart technology, the kinetic door rotates to create different pocket spaces that cater to different programs. For example, it can be rotated to create a pocket space for reception, or to transform the entrance into a waiting area for latecomers during a seminar. When the camera door rotates, the overhead aperture also controls the amount of light at the entrance space.
The circular stair is a hanging structure. Inspired by camera aperture, it plays with light, shadow, and speed. The design team worked closely with structural engineers to translate camera elements into structural elements. To create a precise twist, each step was constructed using 3-D printing and casting. Both the door and the stairs were fabricated using brass and painted in black. Just like a black-painted camera that documents its interaction with the photographer; f22 also documents its interaction with time and people. Over time, the black paint will wear off to reveal the brass underneath.
The two galleries were designed in black and white to form a dialogue between the two floors. CAFÉ 22 offers a gathering place for cultural activities. It has an exhibition space for budding photographers to organize their first exhibition. A mirror is installed behind the counter, visitors can watch the baristas perform. There is a square table in the middle of CAFÉ 22 for visitors to gather and talk about photography and design.
f22 has won 8 international design awards, including German Red Dot Design Award, the American Institute of Architects International Region Awards, and the Design for Asia Award. The meticulous craftsmanship of f22 has also been recognized by the 2019 FRAME Award jury and won the Best Craftsmanship Award.
About LAAB Architects
LAAB is a laboratory for Art and Architecture dedicated to spatial innovations that cultivate communities and sustain environments. From public space and public art to architecture and transformable interior, the collective of architects, designers, engineers, makers, and sociologists work together with forward-thinking clients and collaborators to bring visionary ideas to life.
Based in Hong Kong, LAAB’s work has received accolades from various global design communities, with recognition from the Japan Good Design Award Best 100, the German Red Dot and iF Awards, as well as the American Institute of Architects International Region Award.
Official name of the project: f22 foto space
Location: Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Area of the project: 1,000sqm
Project End Date: 2017
Client: f22 foto space
Architects/Designers: LAAB Architects, Carlow Architecture & Design
Design Team: Kevin Chau, Otto Ng, Phoebe Ng, Yin Lih Tham, CK Wong, Ricci Wong, Chloe Yau, Yip Chun Hang, Yazh Yip, Anderson Chan, Tin Chan, Zion Chan, Catherine Cheng, Jason Choi, Jesse Hao, Ming Ho, Daisy Lam, Kelvin Lam, Tat Lau, Venessa Mok, Janis Poon, Theodora Li, Stephanie Siu, Carolyn Tam, Ricki Tsoi, Donald Wu, Happy Yam
Collaborators / Cafe22 Designers & Makers: LAAB Architects in collaboration with Studio Coming Soon and Studio818
Branding & Signage Designer: Milkxhake
Stair Structural Engineers: BeFrank and Yasuhiro Kaneda Structure
Contractors: Made in LAAB with AVT, Buddy Concept, Chi Keung Kee, Golden Smart, Linko, Profit+, and many more
Photographers: LAAB Architects, DCinematic, f22 foto space