Larvotto, Creating a Masterpiece
Long before construction began, the brief for the appointed architects was to create an iconic building which went way beyond all standards for the highest level of luxury residential living, utilising a piece of land located on the waterfront of Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong which overlooked the Aberdeen harbour and typhoon shelters towards Ocean Park.
The site was considered challenging due to it’s location laying directly at the waterfront, and for the envisaged noise pollution coming from the adjacent boat and shipyards of a working harbour. Working with the natural geography of the site and to meet the developers residential requirements, the architects designed a complex which incorporated nine towers that sat within a gentle curvature forming three clusters of three towers.
Wanting to ensure that all nine towers could peacefully enjoy the sensational and panoramic waterfront views, a new approach was needed by the architects to create an insulated barrier to keep out noise yet not compromise the overall design. The successful outcome was a method utilising non-opening curtain wall glazing on the façade. This created just the right buffer to insulate against any noise coming from the shipyards.
Another consideration the architects took into account was not just what impact the environment would have on the Larvotto development, but also what impact would the Larvotto development have on the surrounding environment. The quality of the construction was paramount in the design so in consideration, the towers were clad in non-reflective glass to minimise any perceived sun glare reflecting off the building and projected to the surrounding buildings and neighbourhoods.
The finished result - Larvotto completed in 2011 resembles a beautifully sleek 300 meter sailing yacht located right at the waters edge with a magnificent green backdrop behind. All three building clusters have sky gardens punched through the mid sections of the buildings to further the panoramic views throughout the development and to create a sense of lightness to the overall design. All 715 apartments have magnificent views across the marina and harbour to the outlying islands and the south china seas beyond.
The development has been hailed as an outstanding success creating a new benchmark for high-end residential developments. Larvotto’s unique design was awarded the International Real Estate Awards Highly Commended, The best building of Hong Kong (Skyscraper) which was organized by the International Real Estate Organization. The chosen architects are responsible for other iconic buildings in Hong Kong such as the ground breaking and supremely stylish Opus on Stubbs Road, Mid Levels, and the design icon The Peak Tower.
What’s on Board
The nine towers sit high like sails above a five storied podium deck which houses the undercover parking areas and The Clubhouse. The clever design gives both vehicle and pedestrian access to a lobby area and lifts to whisk residents up to level one and above, raising their views above the boatyards from first floor upwards. The luxuriously appointed apartments range in size from 600 sq ft for a spacious studio upwards to 3900 sq ft duplexes on the top floors.
Club House - The resident’s club house named Club Voyage clocks in at an incredible size of 150,000 square feet. In addition to the basic facilities that one would expect of such a development, the Larvotto also includes fitness and training coach services, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and jacuzzi’s with changing rooms, steam and sauna rooms, plenty of spacious leisure and activity storage space, multipurpose playgrounds, karaoke and entertainment rooms, a convenient sea view restaurant and bar, two ballrooms and three sky gardens.
The specialised services and facilities include an on-site Kindergarten which is run by a reputable nursery school, and for those families or households with pets, Larvotto also has a cute pet park. Being located right on Aberdeen Harbour it makes sense that the developers would include the added luxury of offering private yacht services to the residents.
Ap Lei Chau
The island of Ap Lei Chau started out as a small fishing village dating back to the Ming era, and was often referred to as The Fragrant Village on maps. The island was mostly left untouched throughout history with a peaceful fishing village atmosphere. In 1968 Hong Kong Electric opened a power station on the island which provided power to the whole of Hong Kong. This was eventually relocated to Lamma Island in 1989. A bridge was built in 1994 to connect Ap Lei Chau island to Hong Kong Island, and this was what mostly propelled Ap Lei Chau into rapid economic development and the building of a number of industrial and residential estates.
Today Ap Lei Chau is a combination of modern luxury high-rise residential blocks blended with the rustic charm of a genuine fishing village, making this one of the most interesting neighbourhoods in which to live. The lively Main Street is buzzing with activity. Cool cafes are popping up and the area’s variety of restaurants from Italian, infusion, Thai, vegetarian offer a feast and this is definitely one of the best places to go eat wonderfully prepared fresh seafood. Busy shops sell everything from traditional herbs to Angus beef and Japanese sake.
The Horizon Plaza shopping centre complex has become a popular shopping destination for locals and visitors alike, having been converted from an industrial building into one of Hong Kongs busiest and best shopping outlets for furniture and fashion. Some of the best luxury brands have outlets shops here including Yves Saint Laurent, Ralph Lauren, Boss, Marc Jacobs, Lane Crawford to name just a few.
And now that Ap Lei Chau is finally connected to the MTR network, everything is much closer and within reach.