8 Hong Kong nano flats that prove small can still be beautiful
Small flats are here to stay in Hong Kong. Over a quarter of the completed units last year were Class A flats, which measure less than 400 square feet (37 square metres) in size.
But just because the stage is small, it doesn’t lack the ability to razzle or dazzle. These tiny flats bring out the best in architects, who use their skills to optimise the use of space.
We take a look at eight of the smartest home designs in the city, that transform poky flats into trendy digs.
1. Domestic Transformer can morph into 24 different rooms
The founder of Edge Design Institute, Gary Chang Chee-keung, is best known for his 344 sq ft “Domestic Transformer” apartment that can morph into 24 different room configurations by sliding the furniture and walls.
The flat can morph into a bathroom with a Duravit bathtub, a living room with a hammock, a fully equipped kitchen, a walk-in closet, a dining area for five people, a laundry room and more.
2. Living in 194 square feet
Chang recently took on a more ambitious challenge - to design a home about the size of a standard cruise ship cabin.
The 194 sq ft show flat in Tsim Sha Tsui’s Miramall also contains a plethora of transformable elements, with a wine fridge, washing machine and a shoe cabinet that can hold up to 12 pairs of footwear.
3. A spacious home for a couple and their dog
Chris Lam Chik-fung from Zip Interiors managed to turn a 270 sq ft two-bedroom Ma On Shan apartment into a studio flat with more storage, a bigger bathroom and a kitchen.
After removing all existing internal walls and swapping around the kitchen and bathroom, Lam raised the bedroom area on a wooden platform, which he aligned with a window bay to make use of otherwise wasted space. In addition, he also turned a bay window into a banquette to allow more space for the flat.
4. Welcome to ‘The Pit Stop’
“The Pit Stop” was a winner in the Hong Kong Institute of Architects’ Innovative Youth Housing Design Competition, which was turned into a life-sized show flat in the New Territories last December.
The 150 sq ft studio flat has a 3.7-metre ceiling and an open-plan living design featuring a loft bedroom, a pantry, a private bathroom and plenty of hidden storage space. The flat also features a bookcase that doubles as a door.
5. The ultimate Hong Kong smart home
Otto Ng Chun-lun, co-founder of LAAB, transformed a tiny flat into a smart home that accommodates a cosy home theatre, a generous kitchen and a dining room.
Inside this home, a bathtub can morph into a sofa-bed, a television wall can slide out from beside a fridge, a counter-top can open up to offer a sink and overhead shelves can descend to reveal a fully stocked kitchen.
6. All the charm of a classic walk-up, without the hassle
French interior designer Peggy Bels restructured a 395 sq ft apartment with a private rooftop of the same size into a refreshing living space, which accommodates an open-plan kitchen and living area, a double bedroom and an en-suite bathroom.
The flat appears to be more spacious than it actually is, thanks to its monochrome colour and an abundance of windows.
7. Using every trick in the book
Sometimes less is more. Glory Tam Chi-kiu, founder of Mister Glory, optimised the sense of space in a 369 sq ft flat in Wan Chai by using materials with only a limited selection of colours - pale-wood laminate floor, pale-wood veneer furniture, smooth white walls and white marble details for a touch of luxury.
8. Blending seamlessly with leafy surroundings
Architect Nelson Chow Chi-wai took inspiration from the surrounding forested hillside and revitalised a 370 sq ft home with a playful tree-house design.
Consisting of a living area, kitchen, bathroom and an elevated double “bunk bed”, the flat blends seamlessly with its leafy surroundings.
Keen to blur the boundary between indoors and outdoors, Chow painted the interior walls a dark moody blue and added a bougainvillea tree to the mini-garden-like, glass-sided deck to draw the eye outside.