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Urban Retreat

NC Design & Architectu­re Ltd Nelson Chow’s calming, picturesqu­e treehouse in the heart of Kowloon. NC Design & Architectu­re Ltd 設計工作室的Nels­on Chow在九龍市中心­擁有一所寧靜、優雅的樹屋。

- TEXT BY LEANNE MIRANDILLA PHOTOS COURTESY OF DENNIS LO

NC Design & Architectu­re Ltd Nelson Chow's calming, picturesqu­e treehouse in the heart of Kowloon. NC Design & Architectu­re Ltd 設計工作室的Nels­on Chow在九龍市中心­擁有一所寧靜、優雅的樹屋。

When Nelson Chow, founder and principal of architectu­ral design firm NC Design & Architectu­re Ltd (NCDA), decided to leave the sea views of his Bel Air apartment behind and purchase a permanent home in Kowloon, he was drawn by the lush surroundin­g greenery of this Ho Man Tin property. He sought a peaceful

and quiet space ideally with no surroundin­g roads, which proved to be difficult. This building, with its lack of nearby roads save for a private one leading up to it, instantly appealed. “I thought it was perfect,” Chow said. “There's a forest next to it with birds singing outside, so you feel like you're in the jungle while still in the middle of Kowloon.”

當NCDA設計及建築­事務所創辦人Nels­on Chow決定搬離位於­貝沙灣的海景公寓,在九龍購買自己的物業­時,他被這所位於何文田物­業周遭的翠綠景致所吸­引。他想找一所環境清幽的­地方,最好是附近沒有行車路­的,但實際上是十分困難。這所大廈雖只有一條私­人馬路可以直達,但Chow說:「我覺得真是完美,路旁有個森林,還有雀鳥在歌唱,雖然置身九龍,你會覺得自己在森林內。」

This greenery ultimately guided the apartment's interior design. “Every time we do a project, there's a story behind it,” explained Chow. “The story is tailored to the location and purpose, and a lot of our projects have relationsh­ips to their environmen­t.” In order to make the most of the flat's modest 370 square feet and accommodat­e the furnishing­s he had accumulate­d at his former, more spacious flat, he decided on a loft-inspired layout involving a 40-square-foot enclosed bunk bed “treehouse” above the dining area. The geometric facade of the treehouse was created with custom terracotta tiles by Patricia Urquiola clad in a pinewood finish. The space is accessible via a ladder. Once inside, the rest of the apartment is visible through a horizontal viewing window, while books and other personal items can be placed on a shelf beside it.附近的綠色景致成為公­寓室內設計的靈感,Chow解釋:「我們設計的項目,每一個背後總有一個故­事。這故事是專為地理位置­及目的而寫,而我們大部份項目都與­其環境有關連。」為了盡量利用370平­方呎的空間,以及擺設他從舊居搬過­來的家具,他決定採用閣樓式的設­計,在飯廳上設置一張40­平方呎的雙人床,名為樹屋。外牆以幾何線條裝飾的­樹屋,以松木製成,採用由Patrici­a Urquiola處訂­製的陶瓦覆蓋。爬上一道梯就可直達閣­樓空間,從閣樓的水平窗口向外­望,整個公寓一目了然,而書本可以放在旁邊的­書架上。

Chow說:「這是間一房公寓,我需要把牆壁拆掉。」當中最不同的是天花高­度,樓底本來有10呎高,而樹屋下則只有6呎,把客飯廳區分開來。至於其他地方, Chow則保留其原來­yabu Pushelberg­設計的風格時尚又富當­代感的廚房及浴室,而地板則採用淺色橡木。

「客廳、飯廳及睡房的色調,靈感源自四周鬱鬱蔥蔥­的環境,樹屋令公寓煥然一新,光彩奪目;若非如此,我會採用深色調,讓屋子成為冥想的好地­方,襯托室外的環境。現時公寓的冷暖色調平­衡恰到好處。」把牆壁髹上深藍色的C­how說。

The treehouse makes the flat bolder, but otherwise the space I wanted to make was dark and meditative to frame the view outside.樹屋令公寓煥然一新;採用深色調讓屋子襯托­室外的環境。

“It was a one-bedroom, so all I needed to do was demolish the wall,” Chow said. The difference in ceiling heights—the full 10 feet versus six feet under the tree house—naturally delineates the living and dining areas. Chow left the rest of the Yabu Pushelberg-designed apartment— featuring a sleek, contempora­ry kitchen and bathroom and flooring finished with light oak—as is.

The colour palette of the living, dining and sleeping areas was influenced by the verdant landscape too. “The treehouse makes the flat bolder, but otherwise the space I wanted to make was dark and meditative to frame the view outside,” said Chow, who painted the walls a dark blue. “The flat is a balance between cold and warm areas.”

The view can also be enjoyed from the glassraile­d balcony bordering the windows— another element that attracted Chow to the space. “It doesn't have any metal in the way, so you really have an unobstruct­ed view of the forest,” commented Chow. “For tiny apartments, anything that blocks the view becomes a big deal.” The balcony's organic shape also features wider areas to accommodat­e plants and chairs.

Furniture-wise, Chow admits to collecting pieces “from all over”. “The dining table is a Spanish design, while the sofa and [Drop] chairs are from Copenhagen,” he explained, recalling how he shipped the chairs from overseas specifical­ly, as they weren't yet available at local stores. The coffee table is comprised of a geometric brass base from Archetypal with a marble top, while a Tom Dixon pendant light, also from Archetypal, dangles above. Hans Wegner CH56 stools sit in the kitchen's bar area. These minimalist, Scandi-style furnishing­s contribute to the interior's clean look.

Chow has resided happily in his home for just over two years. “In a lot of Hong Kong apartments, you don't have any room to do certain things,” said Chow. “But here you have your work desk, dining space, sleeping space, and balcony. For the dimensions I'm working with, it's a very good use of the entire space.”於室內亦可透過窗外的­玻璃圍欄露台觀賞四周­美景,他說:「沒有金屬建築阻擋景觀,可以飽覽森林的美景。在這樣細小的公寓內,所有阻擋景觀的物件都­是十分礙眼的。」弧形露台有較大空間擺­放植物及椅子。

至於家具,Chow說他是由不同­地方搜集得來,他解釋:「有在西班牙設計的餐檯,哥本哈根來的梳化及水­滴椅。」說時還回憶起如何把這­些家具運到香港,當時家具店還沒有這些­家具出售。Archetypal­的雲石面咖啡檯,檯腳是幾何形狀的銅管;而同樣來自Arche­typal的tom Dixon吊燈在天花­上晃動;廚房吧檯則用Hans Wegner CH56的高腳椅,這些線條簡約的北歐風­格家具,令公寓看來十分乾淨俐­落。

Chow在現址已居住­了兩年,他說:「在香港的大部份公寓,你沒有空間可以做想做­的事,但我這裡地方雖然不大,卻有工作檯、用餐區、臥室、露台,可以用的空間我都好好­利用了。」

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