Mass Operations art collector’s loft conversion

In a city like Hong Kong, with notoriously high property prices, optimizing use of space is often a requirement of the design brief.

This spacious loft in Chai Wan, Hong Kong, while located in an industrial zone, offers views of the city. Its owner is an art collector and seller, who wanted his home not only to reflect his eclectic taste, providing the ideal space to display his art and book collection, but also to serve as a gallery where he could entertain welcome guests in a comfortable setting.

The main challenge for design firm Mass Operations, was to design a functional space offering the perfect balance between public and private. They developed a pragmatic solution, creating a dynamic layout which allows for an ad-hoc, flexible adaptation of the space according to the owner’s needs.

The sleeping area is separated from the rest of the flat by a stark concrete dividing wall, left short of the ceiling to let in natural light and allow for ventilation while maintaining privacy. Within the bedroom, a curtain is used to hide or reveal the owner’s wardrobe.

The idea of opening and closing elements is also seen in the catering kitchen, which can be opened or hidden behind large sliding partitions that double as blackboards, thus acting either privately or publicly depending on the situation.

Staying true to its simple lines and materials, the “industrial roughness” of the space was kept intact and enhanced; scraped beams and columns reveal the structural concrete, exposed piping provides texture, while custom fixtures, including a concrete bathroom sink, maintain a consistent look and feel throughout the home. The colour palette was kept simple, staying mainly within the natural tones of the materials in use.

The overall feel is similar to that of a gallery, the muted tones serving as the ideal background for bringing the owner’s art collection into focus.

Architect: Mass Operations
Location: Chai Wan, Hong Kong
Area: 220.0 sqm
Photography: Jonathan Maloney


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