HIR studio designs chic studio for a young WRITER
tactile materials and an elegant color palette characterize this apartment interior in hong kong designed by HIR studio. located in an old district of the city, the project involved the transformation of a two bedroom apartment into a 56 sqm studio flat.
the residence was created for a young client on the precipice of choosing her future career. the architects say she’s a keen writer on subjects of art, film, and fashion and frequently travels between different cities to learn about urban preservation. when she stays in town, the newly renovated apartment serves as a meditative retreat to work and relax in.
the wooden table is made from a 1000 year old kauri log
an ephemeral concept
inspired by the client’s eclectic mix of interests, the architects looked to a japanese term for the awareness of impermanence known as ‘mono no aware’. to translate this bittersweet concept into the design, HIR studio decided to use tactile materials that will age gracefully over time such as ancient wood, rough stone, woven rattan, and iron patina. these materials are accompanied by textured plaster with visible strokes and trowel swirls that tell of the meticulous process that has once taken place.
in this way, the design team aims to express both a sense of tranquility and a sense of time as the materials gradually change. HIR studio explains, ‘the delicate beauty of the space is transient and ever-changing, reminding the owner of the transitory moments in her life right now, upon which her memories shall precipitate, just like the traces left behind by time.’
a recessed wall in timber slats is the centerpiece of the living area
for the layout, the architects removed the corridor and one of the bedrooms. the sleeping area is divided from the living room by a translucent screen clad in vertical walnut timber slats. the screen can be moved to establish privacy or fully opened to create one big open space.
the apartment is accessed from a small vestibule, where a rattan screen subtly reveals the living area. the entrance vestibule features black iron patina panels, which conceal shoe storage, and a black metal bookshelf.
the protagonist of the living area is a wooden table made from a 1000 year old kauri log, an ancient and very valuable timber that’s been naturally preserved in swamps in new zealand. designed as a multifunctional place for working, reading, eating, and occasional gatherings, the living room also features dark walnut timber, black steel fixtures, green venetian plaster and grey textured cement.
the sleeping area is highlighted with walnut details as well as some finely crafted light fixtures
from the main day space, the recessed screen leads into the bedroom. the sleeping area lies against layers of grey walls, green plastering and carpentry, highlighted with walnut wood details as well as some finely crafted light fixtures.
sliding panels are also employed as a design tool to prompt an intimate and playful interaction between the owner and space. the movable panels are designed in various locations to conceal, offer privacy, and reflect. at the bookshelf the sleek wooden screens are set against the sturdy stone, ready to be slid across by hand, to conceal or to exhibit different items. meanwhile the wooden screen door blurs the boundary between sleeping and living. when more sense of privacy is desired, the slatted screen can be drawn closed. its movements, together with the mirror screen behind the bed, deepen the feeling of transience, or flexibility, in the space.