Hong Kong-based architects LAAB have just completed an incredible home that maximizes every inch of this 309 sq ft (28.7 sq m) flat in Hong Kong’s Central district.
The clients had a long wish list that included: full kitchen, bathtub, home cinema, gym, storage—and cat-friendly features for their three furry roommates. After 40 iterations, LAAB came up with a solution that is both functional and elegant.
Hong Kong is one of the world’s most expensive cities where an average square foot costs about US$1,416 [source]. The clients, Andy Knight and Michelle Tennant, had a decision to make:
purchase a flat with about 90 more square feet, or completely redesign and renovate this 309 square foot apartment which was in the location they loved.
To realise their ambitious plans, the team at LAAB had to think beyond static spaces. They began considering time as a factor, eventually designing the space around a “Form Follows Time” philosophy, which means that spaces open and close depending on the purposes needed at that particular time.
The “Form Follows Time” philosophy is best demonstrated by the bathtub area of the apartment. This one space can take the following forms:
1. The traditional bathroom with bathtub.
2. Separate bathtub so that a guest can shower while the host brushes teeth or vice versa
3. 2nd tier seating creating a two tiered home cinema or seating for large groups of friends
4. Guest bedroom for short stay guests
The apartment was not only designed for Michelle and Andy but also for their three cats, Banoffee, Dumpling and Tuxedo. Cat areas include a cat walk around the ceiling, cat ladder, litter box hidden beneath the bathroom sink, cat food trays hidden within the kitchen cabinets and a hidden den for them to relax in.
Materials, details and mechanical systems were all strategically designed to keep the spaces dry, cleanable, cat-friendly, and free of undesirable smells. As an example, the cat toilet has been equipped with its own ventilation system that pulls smells out of the building. [source]
A range of app-controlled smart home technologies have also been implemented, primarily Philips Hue bulbs and the August smart lock. The lights are able to slowly brighten the room in the morning, giving the couple a gentle wake-up while the door lock means they can enter effortlessly or send electronic keys to friends to help them look after their cats. [source]
LAAB Design Team: Otto, Ricci, Hang, Kathy, Happy, Zion, Kenneth, Honley, Jason, Venus, Anthony, Hugo, Kinmo, CK, Sian, Phoebe