The Peak, Hong Kong
type: private house
"Off-White" -the project involves complete renovation of a three-storey house in which the client and his family has inhabited for ten years.
"Off" implies a departure from the familiar, creating something unfamiliar. The design seeks to search for a new spatial language that negotiates with the existing envelope which remains intact. It is expressed in white. White suggests the canvas, the backdrop.
Against the backdrop is inserted a timber core, forming the centre of the house - the client's study. The study is constructed in timber. Conceptually, it is a control box. It is also the hub where all the audio visual display are generated and transmitted.
Solid acrylic rods are used to form the walls of the study, letting light into the study. When in operation, lights are emitted from inside. The solid acrylic rods create a multiple distorted refractions, resulting privacy as well as mystery. The timber core unwraps and extends upwards into the master bedroom hallway, and downwards to the floor below to form the slightly inclined ceiling in the living room.
As part of the renovation project, the first move was to swap the dining area with the living area from the original design in order to maximize the most valuable view of Victoria Harbour. The first prop was introduced: a revolving dining area to allow all guests to enjoy the view. The stage effect is further enhanced by a ceiling of acrylic profiles. Practically hiding the air grilles, this feature produces scenes of varying lighting conditions, from one small intimate suspended light, to an evenly distributed bright daylight environment.
The second prop was the free-standing staircase. It is installed with a sound system to form a 'big harp'. One touch by the client on the suspended wire of the harp will initiate a song. And only he knows where the trigger is.
This idea of play further defines the other props, including the concealed service zone, painted in fuchsia, concealed behind a corrugated white wall, the hidden colourful bar and the mirror sliding shoes cabinet. Hence home is not just above living, but also about staging pleasant surprises.
Design Team: Annette Chu, Raymond Leung, Derek Fok, Gabriel Lee
Photographer: Alvin Wong @ aeo studio
Off-White House was published in Perspective Magazine, Nov 2011 and Cathay Discovery Magazine, Feb 2012