Three Dimensional Design for a Mid Levels Duplex

The global small home movement is a way of life in Hong Kong for most people. While some in Europe or North America choose to live off grid in tiny houses, the scarcity of buildable land combined with a large population mean that average two bedroom residences here tend to be more like studios elsewhere.

Hong Kong based architect Colin Chan has extensive experience designing miniscule flats for clients. Yet when he was tasked with a 400 square metre, three bedroom duplex in Mid Levels for a single owner, he explored some positive small home elements and exploded them into an area 10 times the size. “I took the chance to push the ideas to improvise and achieve what I call the mega studio,” Chan explains.

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Open plans and strong visual connections are keys to well designed small homes; Chan incorporated these concepts by opening up the lower floor. The living room with its grand piano flows into a gym and powder room; the latter two are tucked behind a full height stone clad wall. The adjacent dining area flows into a study, where a translucent metal screen that houses a bookcase also hides a private staircase leading up to the master bedroom above. A double height atrium above the workstation area allows natural light to filter downwards.

The main staircase leading to the private areas upstairs is embellished with a metal screen featuring a geometric pattern; this pattern is repeated on the stone feature wall behind the bed in the master bedroom. A generous walk-in closet and master ensuite bathroom with freestanding soaking tub flank either side of the room. The other two bedrooms each also contain ensuite bathrooms, while a large roof garden on this level add a breath of fresh air to the whole design.

“The overall layout becomes a mega studio not only in the two dimensional plan but also a three dimensional one flowing through both floors,” says Chan.