To establish your home as a sanctuary, somewhere far from the bustle of the city in the heart of nature, is an unattainable dream for all but a lucky few. Arguably, anyone fortunate enough to reside in one residence on the Southside of Hong Kong Island could tick off that particular aspiration.
Ideally suited to the needs of a young family of four or so, it is a home in perfect harmony with the green hills and mountains that surround it. Conceived and designed by Andy Wan, the founder of Pure AW’s Designers, an award-winning Wan Chai based design consultancy, his work focused on a fundamental reimagining of an existing structure and its tactical reengineering to meet the needs and values of its new owners.
The reinvented residence now majors on clear open spaces, as well as wide apertures that provide a sense of immense roominess, an attribute accentuated by the ample natural light that permeates throughout. Overall, the interior has been sensitively configured to resemble the external natural landscape, complete with colours and textures that synergistically deliver a blend of the indoors and the outdoors. Throughout, such timeless materials as stone, timber and plaster adorn the walls and ceilings, while the oak flooring is redolent of eternal freshness. This is further counterpointed by the walnut furniture, a soft contrast with the light grey, white and sandy tone of much of the interior space.
The inner recesses of this spacious home, meanwhile, are a creative blend of western and eastern aesthetics, albeit with oriental furnishings, a modern layout and smart integrated systems. An additional 1,956 square feet of space, part of a low-rise unit, beautifully expands the ground floor, with the extra space providing a surfeit of room for family gatherings or hosting guests both formally and informally. Accommodating the family’s love of socialising and congregating, this communal space boasts a paired living and dining function, while breathtaking views of the external garden areas are available throughout.
The garden is notable for the highly aesthetic nature of its immaculately conceived landscaping, which comprises lush green lawns, artfully coiffured hedges and an array of exotic arboreal items, all framed by the verdant surrounding slopes. Within this green oasis is a purpose-built space for leisurely reclining, a swing and a capacious table set for impromptu or, when required, formal dining.
In addition to this, a variety of differently proportioned planters, a testament to the residents’ love of horticulture, have been distributed throughout the ground. On a more practical note, meanwhile, considerable care has clearly gone into ensuring the durability of the alfresco assets of the property, as well as ensuring they all have suitable insect-resistant properties.
Moving back within the property, the creative preferences of the owners are writ large courtesy of the generously proportioned, vividly coloured artworks that adorn many of the walls, together with the substantial sculptures and occasional pieces that brighten every nook. The creativity of a different kind is also catered to via the giant piano that dominates the foyer space.
Separating this lobby area from the inner living and dining spaces is a gently unobtrusive stepped arrangement, giving arrivals the time to take in the large, circular Chinese prosperity motifs that bedeck many of the connecting doors. This classic feel is sustained via the array of vintage Greco-Buddhist sculptures dispersed throughout the communal spaces.
One of the major specifications in the agreed design brief was the requirement to maximise storage space without obstructing the views or taking up too much wall acreage. In order to deliver on this, many of the existing inner walls were demolished to create a space that was both more connected and more open. One constraint was that many of the existing beams were set relatively low and could not be removed without risking structural instability, a consideration that saw the whole of the new look conceived to incorporate and forefront these original fixtures.
This finalised, reimagined layout comprises a master suite with a walk-in closet, two rooms for children, a guest bathroom and a detached, semi-private study room in one of the more remote wings of the house. In addition, the spacious living room adjoins the capacious dining area and offers views out across the wellmaintained garden area, The kitchen, maid and utility areas, meanwhile, are all discretely tucked into one bespoke distinct functional space.
Unlike the standard practice in many other contemporary homes, the kitchen space is notably enclosed, while featuring a centrally accessible island, ample preparation space and considerable storage resources. By contrast, the principal dining area is far more open, and extendable, if required, into the adjoining garden space. In addition to the requisite dining table and accompanying chairs, a wine cabinet, display racks and a sliding façade have all also been engagingly integrated.
All in all, this is one home that undeniably offers all the various necessities required for a truly satisfying and contemporary lifestyle, including a smart security system and a level of functionality that never conflicts with the overall aesthetic. It’s an intelligently arranged space and a testament both to the ingenuity of the designer and the thoughtfulness of the initial brief.
(Text: Zaira Abbas Photos: Pure AW’s Designs)