You might have bumped into Y.C. a couple of times if you’re a regular at Kilo Lounge, but you might not have known that he was integral in designing and building the space which has come to be the ground for so many insane parties, engaging dialogues and talks, and alternative performances. We steal some of his time to ask him a little more about himself, and the lounge.
Hey Y.C.! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and how you came to be doing what you do?
I’m trained in anthropology, and started my career in user-experience design before going into construction and real estate. It felt like a natural progression for me, because I’ve always been curious about how places shape the way people behave and interact, so I think that it’s these factors that also drew me to how people use and design spaces.
How did you meet Javier? How did the partnership/friendship develop? What did you like about Jav when you first met?
We first met when he was still operating Raw Kitchen Bar and restaurant. Honestly, at the beginning, I thought he was kind of annoying because he was so chatty! (laughs) I was trying to have a business conversation back then. But I also thought that he was a cool cat, someone who’s down to chill at the appropriate times.
How did you start Kilo Lounge?
When Kilo started, the idea of starting a lounge had already been brewing in our heads. We threw around some ideas about how we envisioned a bar lounge to be like. The opportunity to act on these ideas came when one of the tenants at Ture moved out. It was also favorable way to synergise a lifestyle component to Kilo Restaurant.
What were some of the challenges you faced when working on Kilo Lounge?
We did the project on a shoestring budget, and designed and built it ourselves. The lounge even underwent a minor renovation some time back, so it looks a little different from what we first started out with. It was challenging to wear so many hats at the same time, but seeing the final outcome and seeing people enjoy themselves in the space makes it a rewarding challenge.
Could you tell us about the design of Kilo Lounge? How do you want people to feel when they enter?
There was really no design brief. It was a pretty organic endeavour, where we designed as we moved along. Intuitively, the idea was to design something that looked like someone’s living room.
The inherent design had a lot going for it, such as the cargo lift and the historical context of the whole building. We felt the experience could be really interesting when we included the cargo lift as well. That initial touchpoint allowed us to think of a certain experience or narrative when people engaged with the space. Almost like going to an underground party, but also very down to earth and cosy.
What is Kilo Lounge to you, and what are your hopes for Kilo Lounge?
Kilo Lounge represents democracy to me. It’s a democratic space where anyone can go and have a good time without social or cultural baggage. Moving forward, we really want to elevate entertaining people to the next level, providing food for the soul in a meaningful kind of way.
What are you working on right now? Or is there a project that you would love to be working on?
I’m primarily working on real estate asset management projects, and there are also some other interesting concepts in the pipeline, so you’ll just have to wait and see.
If you could be doing anything you wanted to, what would it be?
Not far from what I’m doing right now, but better and with more soul.
What’s your usual drink at the lounge?
Beer and wine!