3,500sf house with two-story high living room, one side of which is a retractable glass door opening to the swimming pool and spa. Floor materials flow from interior to outdoors. The dining room is covered with a glass roof and wood louvers, flooding the space with controlled light.
“One of the classic agendas of modernist urban architecture is to overcome the challenge of a city's density by creating openness where space is limited. Finding a way of admitting natural light in places that would otherwise be shadowy, especially the vertical cities of Asia, is another challenge. In its subtle way, this Hong Kong house by Chang Bene Design is an object lesson in one solution to these urban challenges. With the recognition that energy and space become ever harder to find in a more crowded world, the thoroughly contemplated aspects of this house are successful.” Paul Theroux, in Architectural Digest magazine
Featured in Architectural Digest. Winner, BusinessWeek/Architectural Record China Award - Best Residential project
TWO TO ONE HOUSE
Restoration of heritage facade facing the street lined with plane trees in Shanghai's former French district. A new grey brick stair tower structure is added between the two existing houses on the left just past the gate.
Two vintage buildings in the former French Concession were gutted and combined into one house. In the gap between buildings, a new foyer and “stair tower,” topped with a large skylight, join together the new and old structures vertically and horizontally. Floor levels were changed to connect all the interior spaces. Large new steel windows and doors were designed to bring more light into the house.
Grey Shanghai brick was saved and reused at stair wall and at a fireplace in the living room. The living room also features exposed original wood beams, a new window seat, artwork by Picasso and Miro, and a Coconut chair by George Nelson. The glass doors of the dining room open onto the garden terrace. The master bedroom features a loft study and a balcony. A sunken tub in the master bathroom is capped with a domed skylight.
Featured in Architectural Digest. Winner, Business Week/Architectural Record China Award - Best Preservation
Two flats were combined into this 6,000 square foot home, arranged on three levels with a roof terrace. A new spiral staircase connects the three floors. Tall, tailor-made black steel windows bring in light and complement a palette of grey concrete and dark oak finishes. The main level of the home is organized along a 20 metre long concrete-paved “light zone.” The spaces along the zone can be divided by concealed sliding doors. One end of the living room features a new, steel-framed working fireplace.
On the lower level, an 11 metre long gallery is topped with a vaulted ceiling and connects the bedrooms and TV room. On the upper level, a study lined with bookshelves – and playfully-shaped windows among the shelves -- is surrounded by the terrace and a greenhouse.
PAVILION IN THE SKY
HOUSE IN THE SKY
For a young entrepreneur, this is a 2,400sf loft-like flat with a roof garden and pavilion. The pavilion is lifted above the garden. The concave/convex wood slat structure shades the interior from hot west afternoon sun and creates an interplay of light and shadow, an effect repeated inside apartment with a similar slat ceiling and lighting above. The garden is laid out in islands of colored pebbles and grassy mounds. Inside the flat, a sweeping curved wall defines the living/working space and intersects a large, swinging translucent door that conceals a guest room. A series of pivot doors opens the red mosaic-lined master bathroom to the bedroom.
ART AND LIGHT
Overlooking a bay on Hong Kong's south side, this is a gut renovation for a lover of art and cookery. In the new plan, a concrete-paved "light zone" connects the living room and master bedroom, and is lined with sculptures by Wang Shugang. In the living/dining room, white leather Charles Eames lounge chairs sit on a floor of pale Austrian oak planks. The steel and solid walnut dining furniture is from US. The owner’s art collection includes works by Stephen Conroy, Frank Auerbach and Joel Shapiro.
The kitchen is open to the living/dining room and is anchored by a long zinc-covered counter cantilevered from a structural column, which also supports a TV and a tailor-made polished steel light bar. The counter provides the owner with a place to prepare food while he and his guests chat, and can also serve as a buffet. The Gaggenau appliances are grouped together in a space around the corner. Adjacent to the kitchen, a walk-in larder stores wine and foodstuffs under controlled temperature and humidity.
The master bedroom features a leather floor from UK, and is separated from the bathroom by a clear glass partition. Inside the bathroom, the hinoki wood soaking tub was tailor-made in Japan. From the tub, one gets views both south to the bay and north to the hills.
WEST KOWLOON AERIE
This 2,000sf apartment was fully replanned and rebuilt employing luxurious materials and furniture. The living room is finished in limed oak paneling and a tailor-made inlaid marble floor. Sliding doors of bronze and glass open to the study. The dining room walls are lined with polished plaster and trimmed in dark wood; the table is lacquered in red. In the passage between living and dining rooms, a niche was created with a velvet-covered built-in sofa with a view of the harbor. The bedroom walls are papered with a lily pattern, and a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk serves as a vanity table.