Architects make the most of strict building specifications in Hong Kong’s new territories
The driving force behind the concept of this renovation project was to enhance the feeling of space and re-orientate the outlook to capitalise on the forest that was on its door step. By closing down openings that were overlooked by neighbours and opening up walls that faced the forest, the outlook has been transformed and privacy has been ensured. Furthermore, by opening up the perimeter wall to embrace the greenery, a tangible connection with nature has been created and the virtual size of the garden multiplied. Internally, restraint in the layout has helped magnify a feeling of openness whilst light, filtered through the leaves of the trees and internal gardens, floods in through ideally located windows and doors.
The wonderful sense of space is further enhanced by the careful use of it. On the ground floor the main internal volume relates and interacts directly with the various outdoor elements. Sliding glass doors, retractable awnings, folding fence walls and an abundance of foliage all work together to create a rich and changeable family of spaces and functions that blur the line between the indoors and the garden. Similar concepts are used on the upper floors where wide glass doors can open bringing the forest into the bedrooms and family room.
As with the layout, restraint has been exercised in the palette of materials. On the floors there are only three. Natural black slate, reconstituted timber decking and light beige, large format homogeneous ceramic tiles. The strategic use of these materials help to blur the line between inside and out and the limited selection assists in increasing the apparent size of the house. Natural timber as a finish is used sparingly but effectively to add a soft and natural accent. A very light oak veneer has been used on the treads of the stair, the internal doors and the cabinet interiors.