⟨ Misc ⟩

Finding answers in encounters

HOK HOUSE

Words / Jas Tse
Photography / Courtesy of HOK HOUSE
Translation / Iris Heung

旅店是怎樣的存在呢?旅店很多時候像一種陪伴,讓人安心,也是旅人跟地方之間的橋,即使初來報到也能摸索到地方的一點點脈絡。

位於高雄的鶴宮寓HOK HOUSE,前身是鶴宮大旅社The Crane Palace Hotel,在60年代是台灣少見的現代化旅館。後來主人移民,便在90年代歇業。2016年,Nato與Trista發現這棟房子,擁有7年經營青年旅舍經驗的他們,便下了決心將老房改建,但不想減去本來的美麗,保留著本來的結構,大門還有鶴宮大旅社當年的金色招牌。內部設計,有讓人神往的拱形屋頂,也是過往的經典風格。

What does a guesthouse mean to you? To many people, a guesthouse is simply a place where you could find comfort during your journey. It is also a place where you can connect with the locals and understand the culture of the city that you are visiting for the first time.

Before renovating into Hok House, this guesthouse in Kaohsiung was called The Crane Palace Hotel that was first opened in the 60s. Back in those days, it was not easy to find accommodations with modernized facilities like this one. The hotel was closed in the 90s, as the owner decided to leave Taiwan. In 2016, Nato and Trista, who had seven years of experience with running a youth hostel, saw this old townhouse and fell in love with it. They then decided to refurbish the space while retaining its authentic charm. The structure of the house was kept intact, while hanging in front of the door is the golden signboard that has been in use since the times of The Crane Palace Hotel. Walking inside, guests can also see the classic arched ceiling that has been captivating visitors for years.

改建後的鶴宮寓,留著老房子的氣質,而房間格局則讓人想到日本的單棟民宿,大片光線、溫暖的木材與弧度,還有溫馨貼心的設計。像其中一個名字是「有書房」的房間,裡面有小小的書房,與卧室稍稍分隔,便是想著「即使晚上必需工作,伴侶也能好好休息。」另有適合一人旅行的、可帶寵物同住的、一家人的、還有彷如鐵道旅行的寢台車廂上下鋪房間。「當初站在鶴的時候,想像這裡是個city hub,包容所有的人得到安適休息,然後連結到四方。」

對地方的愛也處處顯現,他們自己製作了高雄指南,介紹周邊的早餐店、市場、路邊的豆花伯,讓旅人循著在地吃味,悄悄融入當地人生活。

The renovated Hok House has an exterior of a decent old townhouse, and an interior that is designed with a touch of Japanese style. The brightness of the room makes the warm color of the wooden furniture even more homey. The details in the design have surely given the rooms a strong personality. Their Reading Suite comes with a small reading room that is separated from the bedroom. This design is dedicated to people who may need to work a bit at night but do not want to disturb their partners from having a nice sleep. There are other rooms that are designed for solo travelers, travelers with their pets, families, and train fans who would like to stay in a nostalgic night train cabin room. “When we saw this building for the first time, it was already our plan to turn it into a city hub where everyone can rest at ease. We would like to connect with the world with this vibe.”

It is not difficult to recognize how much the owners love their city. They even created their own version of the Kaohsiung guide to recommend travelers to breakfast places, markets, and the food stall nearby that sells douhua (tofu pudding). Following the owners’ footsteps to taste the local delicacies, travelers can truly experience the city life of Kaohsiung.

旅店有個可愛的企劃「誰的房間?Whose room?」,邀請創作單位,以一年為期,打造一個特別的房間。現正進行的,是他們的好友藝術家,來自日本的山鳩舎yamabatosha,由插畫家、手作創作家Miyagi Chika與設計師渡邊哲也組成的團隊。以「千年鶴、萬年龜」為概念,創作出「千年萬年room」,是個拋走時間概念,可在這裏享受悠悠的永恆的空間。

由它慢慢、到處走走、過著自己的時間這種氛圍,也在旅店一樓的咖啡茶酒館暨餐點與古物店的「龜時間」裡衍生,讓人聚起來,或一個人到處走走後,這裡都是可以隨時來一杯、那樣美好的存在。

時光嗖嗖溜過,但這房子會像他倆希望的,如時光機,讓人待上一陣子後,會喚起那段浪漫與朝氣的過去。

This guesthouse organizes a yearly art project called “Whose Room?” that invites an artist to move into a room in Hok House to curate the room with their art. This year, the room was curated by Yamabatosha, a creative team from Fukuoka. The “a thousand years ten thousand years room” curated by this duo, which is formed by the illustrator/handicraft artist Miyagi Chika and the designer Watanabe Tetsuya, is a space where guests can forget about time and enjoy the moment. The idea can be best illustrated by Yamabatosha’s artist statement that says, “Crane is a thousand years, turtle is ten thousand years. This room will be a crane and a turtle room for one year. There is no concept of time here, visitors can fully unwind and enjoy the space of eternal time.”

The slow living concept can also be seen in their Good Time Cafe on the first floor of the guesthouse. The cafe is a place for travelers to hang out casually with their travel companions or some other travelers after a day of wandering around in the neighborhood.

Time can fly so quickly, but this guesthouse can be a time machine that allows people to travel through time, or even go back to the happiest and memorable past.