Winner: Working | Hong Kong | BCI Asia Interior Design Awards 2019
The design project was given by Jeffery Kwok who owned a seventy-eight square meter unit inside Alhambra building, a sixty-year-old building located in Yau Ma Tei near temple street. The unit was the original office for Jeffery’s father, but it had been vacant for years. Jeffrey wanted to share space with his semi-retired father.
Initially, the design plan was splitting the spaces between Jeffrey and Kwok Senior. Unfortunately one month into the design phase, Kwok Senior passed away.
Kwok Senior left two large antique wooden shelves that were his wedding gifts by Jeffrey’s grandfather. Jeffrey wished to keep those two shelves within this small office, as they would represent Kwok Senior’s spirit watching over them.
Based on the new requirement, the design was changed. Instead of original monochromatic, high contrasting design, materials converted to earthly toned and walls were recladded with the wood of warmer and natural colour to complement and harmonise with the two old French shelves.
The construction took entire office space open with different doorways to keep everything connected and free-flowing. The working stations with inlined shelves opened to the traditional Japanese styled grey tatami flooring meeting area which connected to the boss’ room. The connected spaces could help in building staffs awareness within the office. The rooms were separated with sliding panels, which help dividing spaces if necessary.
Jeffrey’s main business was advertising, (PMM media); having windows with natural warmth illumination brought in inspiration and energy into the workspace. Furthermore, natural tonation provided a sense of homeliness and security into the working area. Interior lighting with yellow and warm lights to add warmth to the space filled with nostalgia to emphasise the importance of bonding.
One of the priceless heirlooms into an alcove was placed in the entry hallway, surrounded by mirrors and light. The reflected image creating a timeless portal between the present and past. The ceiling of the hallway from the entrance leading to the meeting area was paved with reflective mirrors as well, creating a sense of travelling through many moments and possibilities. The other shelf set in Jeffrey’s office (the Boss’ Room), served as a physical reminder of his father’s presence watching over him and the office.
Conceptually, these two pieces of furniture formed part of the memory narrative that rested on volleys of paradoxes and passed on generations. The architecture became a silent storyteller.
Project Name: A Father To Son Legacy
Location: Unit 15, 1st Floor, Alhambra Building, 383-389C Nathan Road, Yam Ma Tei, Hong Kong
Completion Date: September 2017
Gross Floor Area: 60 square metres
Owner: PMM Media
Architecture Firm: Groundwork Architects & Associates Ltd
Principal Architect: Groundwork Architects & Associates Ltd
Interior Design Firm: Groundwork Architects & Associates Ltd
Principal Designer: Groundwork Architects & Associates Ltd
Interior Fit-Out Contractor: Global Link Creation, Ken Wong
Images: Fiona Bao; South Ho; Wayne Chan