Location: Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Area: 1,000 sq.ft.
Status: Completed Oct 2019
Photo: Lee Tsz Wah Bo
Art Direction: Carmen Cheng, Phoebe Cheng
“In the 20th century, confronted by the imperative of the open plan, …the corridor is deemed an antimodern tool that encourages cellular, inhibited buildings and behavior,” -Elements of Architecture, Rem Koolhaas.
This project explores the changing role of a corridor in an apartment setting. Especially one with an unusually high real estate value in Hong Kong, it is almost arguable to include any corridors for economic reasons. While an open plan layout is noble, there are realistic concerns about privacy in apartments with more than 2 inhabitants.
We use the corridor as a negotiation device between privacy and transparency. First, a large continuous living & dining space that promotes natural light penetration and cross-ventilation is created via the demolition of the existing kitchen wall. We are able to spare precious space with a pair of narrow guest bathroom and walk-in closet as their individual activity clearances are overlapped with their access pathways. With this strategic layout, we have reduced the required length but expanded the width of the corridor for integration into the dining area. Pragmatism is no longer the only reason for its existence, the corridor now also resembles a gallery that welcomes people coming in from the entrance. Clear distinction from the dining area can still be drawn through the use of a dropped ceiling, and with a full height aluminium cladding in matte black finish that creates a change in mood, a sense of privacy is provided. Transparency towards the tea room is revealed or obscured while one moves around the dining area as the narrow part of the corridor is sandwiched by the closet and the laundry, making the tea room both connected and isolated at the same time.
An array of material with varying reflectivity has been used to create multiple depths, but they’re generally restricted to a black to white plus wood palette for coherence throughout the apartment.