Wong Residence (Villa Lotto)

Programme: Private Residence
Site: Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Size: 1,500 sqf
Completion Date: 2010


The design of Villa Lotto is an exercise in questioning Public verses Private, stylish entertainment versus intimate conversation, and abstract versus representational expression. There is an almost schizophrenic quality in the design.

The constraint of the original layout of the flat, with a shear wall at the middle, has already given hints to a clear separation of two dwelling zones.

We imagine a rock clashes into a glass box, or vice versa. The interface of these two distinctive materials becomes our point of departure. The natural weathered surfaces of the rock is abstracted and re-represented as 366 pieces of 20mm thick plywood laminated together. Each piece is custom-cut by the CNC machine to form an uninterrupted curve surfaces. Openings are carved into this curved volume to provide various functional needs for the clients, the TV, A/V system, display shelves, and even a wine refrigerator. Behind the plywood volume are all the private area, such as sleeping rooms and bathrooms. The design of this private zone takes on a more decorative (Chinese) motif to bring back a sense of scale and warmth otherwise not found in the living room area. Since the living room represents the more public entertainment part of household, its design is more chic and stylish. The choice of materials is of tinted glass and glossy smooth paints, giving the whole sense of tranquility and abstractness in the space.

Particular attention is paid to the detailing between the plywood and its adjacent wall surfaces. The Plywood, acting almost like a “decorative skin” in this manner, was shaped and cut to form a recessed door handle, revealing the decorative door panel behind.