Completion: September 2017
Invited by a couple moving into Parkview Hong Kong, HIR studio helped to renovate their apartment into a modern exotic retreat, by interplaying geometrical textures, colours and local crafts.
" The character is both local & western, blending in chinoiserie & exoticism ; It is very Hong Kong "
The Asian couple has an intriguing personality. Being a young entrepreneur: she is adventurous, sensitive and clear about what she aspires for; he is appreciative of cool designs.
Since they returned to HK from abroad, the couple has been overwhelmed with work every day. Travelling on vacations is the only precious time when they could take a refreshing break. From southeast Asia to Northern Africa, the escapists love to visit anywhere, and bring back pieces of souvenirs.
Crowning a peak amidst the lush Tai Tam Country Park, this beautiful apartment views towards the mountainous greenery on its south. Upon entering the flat, the hallway leads one into the main spaces with living and dining areas on either sides. Behind the corridor there are three rooms, two of which are on-suites, where the master bedroom is featured by its rounded windows in double glazing. The kitchen is next to the dining, and is connected to the maids room and back-stairs.
Tailored material palette manifests the residents' love for black and white; And inspired by materiality of a courtyard in an exotic retreat, the new design is an exemplary interplay of monochromatic and contrasting texture, with tints of greens and light brass. Shades vary from ceramic tiles, stones, timber-veins, to hand-crafted plastering, silk-like upholstery, further adorned by soft rugs and fabrics in wool, and vivacious greenery. Hard and soft textures blend in, and the repertoire is jazzed up by the family's collections, featuring a petrified wood sculpture, and a porcelain vase, which shimmer with a sense of history as well as a Chinese blessing.
" Living room is similar to the courtyard in a Moroccan Riad "
All main spaces in the apartment are demarcated by floating light coves, outlining the ambiences with diffused up-lights.
At the heart of the flat, the living room is haloed by a black light cove, which contrasts the white ceiling as stark as a courtyard under sunlight. The whole family gather here to chat on couches, to watch tv, to play with kids on the carpet, or to share a pot of tea in the breeze. The couch sits on a wool-woven orange rug, complemented by a metallic coffee table and some plushy ottomans. The bookshelves behind create a niche in the middle, where the wall is plastered in hand-crafted texture, and is adorned with a royal-green Chinese-styled cabinet collected by the owners.
" Geometrical textures enrich layers of space "
We reinterpreted the Moorish patterns into simple geometries, at a scale that enrich significantly the textures of spaces. Geometrical patterns give a coherent vibe to the whole interiors, invoking memories upon different spaces.
The public areas are paved in black timber-veined planks, which are laid in a herring-bone pattern, expressing a sense of freedom, recklessness, and a relaxing mood always found in a retreat.
" Crafts from different spaces and times blend in; it is favoured over monotonous pieces rolled out of a factory machine. "
In master bedroom, the full height cabinets are lined with a handwoven silk upholstery, a mural depicting some Chinese cranes flapping about beneath a magnificent tree. The subtly goldish silk was woven in Thailand, in 3 by 2 metres, followed by three months of hand-brush paintings in Hangzhou, China. Black and whites are brushed against the finely sparkling canvas in a contemporary Chinese style. We mounted the master-piece into six wardrobe doors in nickel-silver frames, and adorn it with the chic metal door handles - acquired from the local antique shops in Lascar Row. The circular handles are made of hammered brass by craftsman, dangling a tassel in cords, and it reminds one of the ancient door handles in old China. This meticulous blend of details has created a glistening artwork, which fuses the crafts and flavours from different cities and time. It stands elegantly, amidst the monochromatic tone, as the centre piece in the bedroom.
“It’s about keeping a sense of balance, with pieces that talk about the life you’ve led and the places that have stayed with you.”