Asian Academy of International Law


Central, Hong Kong


Academic institution inside a historical monument


The Asian Academy of International Law (the Academy) is situated inside the Former French Mission Building (FMB), one of the oldest buildings in Hong Kong. The FMB is a declared monument, which architecture reflects Hong Kong’s colonial past and its layered history. The challenge of working with a historic icon is that we are not allowed to touch the building – neither the walls, the ceilings nor the floor. Also, the Academy spreads across a series of rooms over three floors, encircling a courtyard. As such, the challenge is to carve out a cohesive identity for the Academy within an esteemed monument. We used a series of bespoke tables to anchor each room and connect the dispersing rooms. Each shape of the table is designed to cater to the specific need of users as well as to create contrast with the spatial geometry of the space.