De­signer Lim Hong Lian’s stylish sanc­tu­ary emerges from Sin­ga­pore’s ur­ban sprawl with a bold aes­thetic iden­tity



Step­ping into Kevin Chu and his wife Gi­u­lia Di­bonaven­tura’s airy and open abode is like fall­ing in love. Ev­ery­thing feels just right – the colours are in per­fect har­mony, the com­po­si­tion of the fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories flows, and as your eyes are drawn across the calm­ing sea views of the ma­rina, you feel com­pletely at peace. Sus­tain­able ma­te­ri­als fill the space and seam­lessly in­te­grate the out­door sur­rounds with the in­te­ri­ors, re­sult­ing in a re­lax­ing vibe that runs through­out.

This eco-con­scious cou­ple, who de­signed their home to­gether, wanted to make sure the space re­flected their life­style. Born and raised in Italy, Gi­u­lia was fa­mil­iar with re­cy­cling from a young age, when ev­ery­thing was given a se­cond life be­fore it was thrown away. As an ar­chi­tect and founder of

走進Kevin Chu和太太Gi­u­lia Di­bonaven­tu­ra的開揚家居就像投進愛海。每事也感覺恰到好處:色彩配搭和諧、傢具與裝飾品無縫過渡,你的目光不期然被平靜的海景所吸引,讓人頓感身心平和。可持續物料套用到空間各處,把戶外天地跟室內裝潢完美揉合,四周洋溢著舒適暖意情調。


COC De­sign – a firm that spe­cialises in eco­log­i­cal de­sign – Kevin shares that ever since COC was awarded a prize for con­cep­tual ar­chi­tec­ture fo­cus­ing on the en­vi­ron­ment in 2011, he has been mov­ing more and more in this di­rec­tion. Ar­guably, COC De­sign is one of the only stu­dios in Hong Kong that prac­tices eco-de­sign, and Kevin says that the main rea­son for this is not busi­ness, but the en­vi­ron­ment. "Gi­u­lia was also a ma­jor in­flu­ence," says Kevin. There­fore, when they bought this apart­ment, it was only nat­u­ral that they wanted the de­sign to be as en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly as pos­si­ble.

"I told Gi­u­lia that I wanted ev­ery­thing to be fake in this apart­ment," ex­plains Kevin. "That meant no real wood and no stone. Nowa­days, tech­nol­ogy in ar­chi­tec­ture is so good at mim­ick­ing that you don’t need to chop down a tree to feel like you have a piece of wood in your home – you can make some­thing in­stead. It’s the idea that we shouldn’t need to keep de­stroy­ing the en­vi­ron­ment."

The ma­te­ri­als he has cho­sen through­out the the three-bed­room flat are awe-in­spir­ing. Kevin has cho­sen a re­cy­cled par­ti­cle porce­lain (made from con­struc­tion waste that has been ground down and com­pressed into a tile with a dig­i­tally printed tex­ture on top) for all the floor and wall tiles, and an art piece by Kevin de­pict­ing Gi­u­lia has been con­structed from tim­ber scraps. Aspen­ite (sim­i­lar to par­ti­cle board) has been used in the liv­ing room wall while a cork wall has been in­stalled in the master bed­room for its prop­er­ties of raw­ness and warmth. The use of re­cy­cled ma­te­ri­als also ex­tends to the可持續設計公司COC De­sign的創辦人兼建築師Kev­in則表示自2011年COC贏得專注環境建築獎的概念建築殊榮後,便一直往這個方向發展。COC可算是香港專營環保設計的公司之一,Kev­in表示這不只為業務,而是為了環境。「Gi­u­li­a深深影響著我。」Kev­in說著,又指出他們的人生都離不開保育議題。因此,購下單位後自然希望盡可能打造出環保設計。



pieces of fur­ni­ture – the liv­ing room book­shelf is made of sty­ro­foam and the pendant lights are made from re­cy­cled card­board stacked to­gether and laser cut into shape.

"The re­cy­cling board is some­thing that I thought about 12 years ago in Hong Kong and I tried to pitch it to clients but no­body liked it," re­calls Kevin. "Now they are do­ing it in many shops but I still haven’t seen it used in res­i­den­tial projects." Cit­ing coun­tries in Europe such as Italy and Ger­many as re­ally lead­ing the way, Kevin re­counts his amaze­ment when­ever he vis­its and ob­serves their de­sign prac­tices. "Most peo­ple don’t use in­te­rior de­sign­ers and yet, their homes are filled with fresh and vi­sion­ary eco-con­scious ideas." Gi­u­lia shares th­ese sen­ti­ments: "There’s an artisan in my home­town who makes wooden frames for win­dows and he uses the left­over bits to cre­ate beau­ti­ful ob­jects. We were able to bring back some of th­ese ideas and try as much as pos­si­ble to be con­sis­tent and co­her­ent with our de­sign ap­proach."

Kevin and Gi­u­lia have con­verted the spa­cious rooftop into a vegetable gar­den, stocked with four plant­ing beds, as well as a


ver­ti­cal herb gar­den on the wall. They ad­mit they ini­tially knew noth­ing about gar­den­ing, so it has been a con­tin­u­ous learn­ing process but the fruits of their labour are ob­vi­ous. "Kevin is mainly in charge of the rooftop," says Gi­u­lia. "The rooftop and the liv­ing room has to be our favourite part of the home.”

As a cham­pion of green liv­ing, Kevin re­veals there is still a lot of work to be done. "We aren’t so ad­vanced here. For the rooftop, we thought about us­ing tur­bines to gen­er­ate power for the whole house but that is il­le­gal here. We thought about us­ing so­lar power too but that wasn’t al­lowed ei­ther. There are a lot of things I would have pushed a lot fur­ther if there weren’t so many re­stric­tions." //



Neu­tral hues, such as those found in na­ture, per­vade the space, con­nect­ing the in­te­ri­ors to the views be­yond and re­call­ing the out­side world. 天然色澤 中性調子,如這些可見大自然的用色遍滿空間,把室內裝潢和以外景色連接一起。

Ar­chi­tect Kevin Chu and his wife Gi­u­lia Di­bonaven­tura strive to be as sus­tain­able as pos­si­ble in their home, se­lect­ing ma­te­ri­als such as Aspen­ite for ac­cent walls. 時尚簡約 建築師Kevin Chu和太太Gi­u­lia Di­bonaven­tu­ra盡力打造可持續家居,並選用Aspen­ite等物料作特色牆。


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