A unique small duplex located in the heart of Hong Kong’s bustling city in Central. Amidst a charming gentrified urban Soho district, we developed a rare compact two-storey “mini-house” structure. The design encompasses a generous outdoor space which integrates the “indoor-outdoor” concept into the space. Careful use of space separating the functions of entertaining downstairs and privacy upstairs provides a rare condo duplex. Attention to architectural details were used in the ceiling and walls to showcase an elegant contemporary and international design.
I studied interior architecture in the United States, with a minor in art history. I established my own company, nude design, after a diverse career both as designer and business development director for international design firms, as well as head of design for the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts group.
The brief for Bonito Casa was to create a stylish and design-conscious apartment utilizing the indoor and outdoor space concept. The interior was to reflect a warm but polished, quality design, with attention to detail and functionality compatible with a high hotel standard. The overall character had to be unique and to capture a sophisticated tenant.
Restructuring the entire space to be usable as one apartment space had its restrictions. Certain structural walls and beams could not be moved, which meant that this restricted where we wanted to have certain function spaces. Due to the staircase taking up much of the space where the original kitchen was, we had to have the kitchen detached from the apartment to accommodate. As a result of careful planning, it created a nice open bar kitchen concept connected to the terrace, making it even more interesting.
We had a lot of building department submissions in order to combine the two apartment units, which takes a lot of time. Working in small spaces to maximize the functions and create the perception of a larger space is always a challenge.
Making the functionality of the spaces cohesive, and being able to treat the exterior facade and terrace, really gave the place a “small stand-alone house” appeal in the city. I really enjoyed the final package and character of the apartment through the major different change and use of space. We combined two units into a duplex from two small individual apartments.
I’ve always enjoyed art and crafts and to create beautiful objects with my hands since a child. Being drawn to the field of arts from a young age made it a natural progression for me to study interior architecture as I also thrive in the technical side of design and construction.
I admire many designers from numerous countries and creative disciplines that have made a mark and influence in our field. It’s hard to mention only a few, there are at least 10 that I can draw inspiration from.
If I could own any building or design object, it would probably be a public space of influence and awe, like the TATE or Guggenheim. Having a place that is always visited as a creative outlet for artists and innovators to both exhibit and learn would be most rewarding.
In the future, I believe environmental sensibility will be a continuously challenging issue that will be prioritized further in both government and municipal projects. This influence will further help bring conscientiousness to the private sector. Convenience, and self-service, through technology and apps, seems to be a growing trend in both the retail and hospitality sectors and has evolved the way we design spaces.
Creative and functional design has the ability to improve an individual or company’s business and environment, and I think this can make a real difference to society and the world. Designers and architects have the ability to promote design and impact society through innovation and environmentally smart solutions. This vision and implementation can provide inspiration in changing or repurposing any space.
It is always a very rewarding accomplishment when our designs are acknowledged by our profession and especially within the international community. I believe this Architecture MasterPrize award further helps promote our work so that we can continue to demonstrate excellence in our designs.