Heong Residence

Programme: Private Residence
Site: MacDonnell Road, HK
Size: 1,800 sqf
Completion Date: Sept 2006


The pre/context could not be clearer:

Located near Central, this apartment has a close up "picture plane" to the Victoria harbor and downtown Central.

It is a brand new building but the flat had been left vacant for over three years (because of real estate speculations?). All existing wall surfaces are still painted with "developer's white".

Most importantly, the client made it very clear upon our first meeting that he would only stay in Hong Kong for not more than two years.  Therefore he would prefer not to make any changes on the original layout so that the resale value of the three bedroom apartment could be kept (for another round of real estate speculations?)

Strictly adhering to the client's desire to keep all partition walls intact, we aimed to explore the ideas of cladding.  This is fundamental to the nature

of interior design and architecture according to Adolf Loos in his article "the Principle of Cladding" written in 1898.

"In the beginning was cladding. Man sought to shelter from inclement weather and protection and warmth while he slept. He sought to cover himself. The covering is the oldest architectural detail."

In this project, the cladding and the cladded surfaces were separated with a stainless steel "C" channel to reveal the construction relationship between them.  This "emperor's new clothes" meets the existing ceiling and the floor with the same "C" channel reveal.  The joinery and meeting planes of two materials were detailed to show the true nature of their construction logics.

Three travertine walls defined the space for the dining room while a deep blue granite panel visually anchored the space between the living and dining room.  The living room has an accent santo rosewood wall panel which has a quarter cut book-match finishes to create a nice contrast to the smooth and stratified pattern of the travertine wall and the irregular deep blue granite pattern. 

Disregarding the scale and scope of the project, we believe architecture can have a meaningful existence as long as the idea of the project is executed with rigor. In this project, we were operating on the principles that BEAUTY is really SKIN DEEP sometimes and GOD-IS-IN-THE-DETAIL...