Overlooking Tai Tam Bay, the rooftop is one of the most frequently used spaces in Victoria Allen's home, decked out in tropics-inspired pops of yellow and cosy outdoor furniture.
“Designing a chair presents the opportunity to express my position — it is like a testing ground for ideas that interest me,” renowned Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye once said when asked about why chair design is seen as a rite of passage for architects. In the same way, at least in Hong Kong’s utterly unique housing market, interior designers are increasingly seeing micro-flats in the same light, as the purest expression of their core design principles.
To YC Chen of hoo, this exercise began in earnest when he and project lead Arsan Law were tasked by a young female professional to redesign a studio unit that clocked out at a mere 340sqft – the smallest apartment in his portfolio by far. Essentially a single room, Florence, as this project would be christened, presented a “trilemma” whereby the client could only ever choose two out of the following three pieces of furniture: a sofa, a bed, or a dining table. To have all three, the only solution, as is so often the case in Hong Kong, was to build upwards.
INTERIOR DESIGNERS ARE INCREASINGLY SEEING MICRO-FLATS AS THE PUREST EXPRESSION OF THEIR CORE DESIGN PRINCIPLES
「設計座椅就等同讓我有機會表達自己的立場位置，有如試驗讓我感興趣的意念。」英籍迦納裔建築師Sir David Adjaye被問到座椅設計何以被視為建築師必經過程時這樣回答。同樣地，處身香港極為獨特的房屋市場中，室內設計師也漸漸會把小單位項目看成展現自己核心創作價值的最佳機會。
對hoo的YC Chen來說，早在他和項目經理Arsan Law獲一位年輕專業女性委託重新設計僅有340平方呎的工作室單位時(他目前處理過最小巧的項目)，經已萌生這種概念。嚴格來說，是次只能容下一個空間的設計項目Florence令客人只能在沙發、睡床和餐桌三者之間選其二。要三者兼得，唯一可行的方案，就只能遵從處身香港最常見的做法：往上發展。