Rattan in Concrete Jungle, Hongkong by Absence from island

Soften storage space with light materials

Project Specs


非常感谢 Absence from island (联系方式:chi@absencefromisland.com 将项目授权gooood发行。更多关于:Absence from island on gooood
Appreciation towards Absence from island (contact: chi@absencefromisland.com)  for providing the following description:



Hong Kong is famous for its cramped living space and its concrete jungle. Our client is no different to any ordinary HongKongers. He purchased a 40 sqm flat and wished to turn it into a home for his family of three.

The design aims to keep the living room large and plain while bringing in natural elements to create a relaxed and calm environment. However, the client is not willing to take care of any living plants and therefore we chose rattan, which is a famous product in nearby Guangzhou, as the key material for the living room. They are used on cupboard doors where their porosity and light colour help soften the cupboard’s existence. The outcome is simple, airy and comfortable.

▼空间概览,藤编材料用于柜体,弱化柜体存在,overview, rattan are used on cupboard doors where they help soften the cupboard’s existence © 薛岚欣


▼平面草图,plan sketch © Absence from island

When purchased, the flat had a typical Hong Kong apartment layout of 5 doors facing the small living room which resulted in a lack of wall space. So during the design phrase, we decided to shift the bathroom door towards the kitchen door, hence to provide a bigger piece of wall for the TV. It was a simple move but it greatly improved the layout as shown on the original and proposed plans.

▼改变布局,形成电视背景墙,change the layout and provide a piece of wall for the TV © 薛岚欣


Storage was one of the major concerns of the client. During the design phrase, the client kept asking for more storage space. The entire child’s room is raised and void below becomes the storage space. And in order to keep a neat interior of the child’s room, steps are placed outside into the living room and double up as additional seating. There is also a set of large cupboards in the living room next to the entrance door. They, at the same time, help create a portal for the main entrance which makes the perfect space for one to wear shoes and check his/her outfit being heading out. We originally thought the client was asking for too much storage space, but in the end, when they moved in, all storage space was taken up!

▼沙发下形成储物空间,storage space under sofa © 薛岚欣

▼水磨石台阶细部,detail of the terrazzo stairs © 薛岚欣


Another common solution to tiny flats in Hong Kong is to turn your home into a crazy transformer. However, in reality you would not be changing your home setting often and indeed it is tiring to do so. Therefore we keep the transformative feature only to the single most obstructive group of items in the living room – dining table and chairs. They are tucked inside a cupboard and are only pulled out when being used. This shall help create one big space for the child to play around.

▼可移动的餐桌餐椅,transformative dining table and chairs © 薛岚欣

▼室内材料一览,overview of material, local rattan create a relaxed and calm environment© 薛岚欣

合作方:Studio Etain Ho

Design year & Completion Year: 2020
Leader designer & Team: Tang Chi Chun
Project location: Hong Kong, Tseung Kwan O
Gross Built Area: 40sqm
Photo credits: Xue Lan Xin
Partners: Studio Etain Ho
Clients: Private client

More: Absence from island (联系方式:chi@absencefromisland.com)更多关于:Absence from island on gooood

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