Before interdisciplinary architectural design firm Lim + Lu set up shop in Hong Kong, its founders Elaine Lu and Vincent Lim spent seven years living and working in New York City. Considering that the Big Apple is where the two conceived some of their first residential projects, it’s no surprise that the American city and its stylish lofts hold a special place in their hearts. And so, when one artistic, well-travelled couple were searching for a design studio to do up their new home, they naturally gravitated towards Lim + Lu due to their shared love for New York, requesting that they bring the charms of a New York-style loft to Hong Kong.
Dubbed Residence HM, the property is a 2,600 square feet former printing press and warehouse tucked amongst the industrial buildings in Hong Kong Island’s south side. Lim + Lu transformed the space into an airy abode for the couple and their five pets, providing plenty of room for the inhabitants to host their baking and painting workshops. The abode’s aesthetic is a unique blend of east and west, of homely comforts and the location’s industrial past. “This was a quick project that took under four months from design to completion,” says Lu. “It came together very organically once our visions were aligned.”
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When coming up with the home’s layout, Lim + Lu decided to clearly delineate the public and private areas. Enter the flat through the preserved factory front door and you’re immediately faced with a minimal hallway consisting of a simple shoe cabinet and bench. Push back one of the steel sliding doors, however, and a painting workshop and kitchen are revealed. Venturing into the bedroom and master bathroom requires opening a second set of sliding doors. This allows the sociable couple to host their various creative workshops and gatherings with friends in the spaces closer to the entrance, while simultaneously maintaining the privacy of the more intimate spaces at the back of the flat. As there are fewer windows in the back half of the apartment, light filters in through the glass of the sliding doors. The home can also be seamlessly integrated by fully opening the sliding doors, creating a single unified space. Bright red pipes — an original detail from the property’s warehouse days — run across the ceilings, further tying the space together.
The colour palette is neutral — black, white, and shades of brown — while materials and furnishings are industrial and pared back (think tables with legs fashioned after steel pipes and paint-washed wooden cabinets and concrete walls). “We wanted to keep to a minimal palette and add a touch of colour here and there to create statements,” explains Lu. Much of the decor consists of artwork, vases, figures, and other pieces the couple has collected throughout their time living in various countries across the globe. “Open shelves in the living room let the clients arrange and display their memorabilia in their own way.” Lu says. Lim + Lu is all about creating residences that are unique reflections of their inhabitants — with Residence HM, they’ve provided a home where this couple can express their creativity and showcase what matters most to them.
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