architecture studio absence from island has renovated a 40 sqm flat located in the cramped concrete jungle of hong kong. the owner of the apartment requested a complete redesign, that can accommodate his family of three, with multiple layouts and ample amount of storage space.
the design by absence from island aims to keep the living room large and plain while bringing in natural elements to create a relaxed and calm environment. however, as the client does not intend to take care of any living plants, rattan was chosen, which is a famous product in nearby guangzhou, as the key material for the living room. rattan is used on cupboard doors, with the porosity and light colour softening the interior’s existence. the result is a simple, airy and comfortable environment.
when purchased, the flat had a typical hong kong apartment layout of 5 doors facing the small living room which resulted in a lack of wall space. so during the design process, the bathroom door was shifted towards the kitchen door, in order to provide a larger wall area for the tv. it was a simple move but it greatly improved the layout as shown on the original and proposed plans.
another common solution for tiny flats in hong kong is turning the house into a crazy transformer. however, in reality, there is no need for changing the house setting so often, which is also very tiring to do. here, the transformative feature was only kept to the single most obstructive group of items in the living room – dining table and chairs. they are tucked inside a cupboard and are pulled out when in use. this helps create one big space where the child of the family can play around.
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