WHO: Alex Wong
INTERIOR DESIGNER
Alex Wong worked in Sydney, where he designed awardwinning boutique hotels, serviced apartments and speciality food and beverage outlets for Australian design firm IDIOM before returning to Hong Kong in 2005 to head the interior design department for world-renowned architecture firm RMJM's Hong Kong office. In 2010, Wong started his own design practice ?Paring Onions. His firm's philosophy is attention to design details, precise spatial planning, efficient use of materials, and the use of elements in their simplest form.

 

As man's best friend, dogs holds an esteemed place in many households, so it's no surprise that loving owners who can afford it will go to great lengths to make sure their pooch lives lavishly.

According to Wong, when designing a home for a dog, the aim would be to create a space that allows the homeowner and their beloved pet to coexist in an environment that is aesthetically and functionally pleasing for both. With this in mind, Wong created DOGBOX®.

Inspired by a series of modular booths that cater to specific functions - the potty, bath and grooming area, sleeping quarters, pantry for instance - DOGBOX® gives the owner the option of mixing and matching the various booths to accommodate their lifestyle and that of their dog's, the size of their home, the size of their dog, or the number of dogs they own.

Modern homeowners live busy lives, so ease of maintenance was a prime consideration for Wong. "The DOGBOX® is constructed with a lightweight frame and finished in DuPont Corian - a resin composite material which creates a seamless and bacteria-free surface. This minimises the build-up of germs and unpleasant odour, while the seamless surface allows the owner to hose down and disinfect the boxes regularly with ease," he says.

Besides hygiene, sports and activity are also important for a pet's wellbeing, that's why Wong included a mini-golf course so the owner can play a round of golf together with their pet. "A featured frameless glass swimming pool allows the dog to go for a dip and stretch its legs, while the owner can relax at the poolside lounging bench," Wong says. The golf course and pool will allow for "owner-free" exercise so dogs can keep fit and stay active even on days when they don't get their walks. A full-height LED screen is incorporated into one of the wall panels, so owners can make video calls from wherever they may be, and check in on their pet in real time.

Apart from the golf and play "booth" and the pool and lounge "booth", the DOGBOX® also includes a potty box "booth", a bath and grooming "doggy salon booth", sleeping quarter "booth" and gourmet box "booth". Perforated ceilings allow for good ventilation, while concealed ambient lighting in walls and ceiling junctions create a calming mood within.

The potty box has a rain-like water flushing system, a street lamp, recessed wall slot for ventilation to get rid of odours, and stainless steel mesh panel flooring for convenient, antisplash cleaning and drainage.

The doggy salon includes an automatic partition that rises to keep the dog within its shower area, an infrared heater for quick drying after baths, and a shampoo and conditioner dispenser.

The floor and walls of the sleeping quarter are covered in waterproof vinyl padding for cushy comfort. The gourmet box has shelves for pet food that can be opened or closed so as not to tempt dogs on a diet, and an automatic sensor which opens a floor recessed serving tray when the dog comes sniffing for its meal.

"In terms of aesthetics, this dog home, with its sleek, minimalist style, is targeted at design- conscious owners. Since dogs see colours differently from humans, we have kept the colour palette to a minimum to allow both owner and dog to perceive the space with little difference, and thus strengthen their mutual experience of this environment," Wong says.