Fluid Space: Architect’s Answer to Cramped Living Quarters
Architect, Gary Chang has been feeling cramped and crowded for most of his life. For thirty years, his home was a 344 square foot flat he shared with six others in Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated cities in the world.
This situation nurtured his understandably insatiable obsession for more living space that has followed him into adulthood.
Chang has come up with his own unique and innovative answer to improving the cramped lives of many urban dwellers with his surrealistic “domestic transformer.”
“The high intensity of use makes (it) more like a large home appliance than a dwelling… The idea is everything is moving. This is my laundry space,” said Chang, sliding away a wall filled with CDs to reveal a washing machine and dryer.
A kitchen appears as if by magic when he slides away another track-mounted metal wall bearing a plasma TV. In true “now you see it, now you don’t” fashion, a luxurious 1.9-meter (more than 6 foot) bathtub turns itself into a guest bed!
“The only enclosed space is the toilet, and it’s bigger than usual,” says Chang, who runs his own design and architectural firm. He has won awards for his innovative applications and he has taken the concept of space saving to the extreme.
The idea is to tune your home closer to what you really want instead of being dictated to by the market or by the space allocated,” says Chang who has transformed his tiny apartment in an old tenement building surrounded by the highways and skyscrapers of Hong Kong’s runaway urban sprawl into an unbelievable living space with polished chrome walls that bear 24 configurations, each addressing a general whim and/or specific need. He has at his disposal a home theater, spa, kitchen, bedroom and “chill out zone with hammock.”
It cost him quite a bit to make these changes (HK $1.8 million, US$231,700, to be exact). For some, it might seem they would fare better to shell out the cash for a bigger place, but not Chang.
Chang is now talking with property developers to replicate his flat in other space-starved, costly cities across Asia and Europe, including Paris.
Don’t fence HIM in!
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