BY: DANIEL KORN
Hong Kong has one of the densest populations in the world, with seven million inhabitants cramming into a landmass of just 426 square miles. The country’s living situations reflect this, with squat, tiny apartments that are often home to an entire family plus a tenant or two. The situation is only getting worse—in Hong Kong and other major cities such as New York and London—thanks to rising real estate costs and population worldwide, and inflated further by investors who put their money into property, seeing it as more secure than bonds. Those of us who are still interested in living in cities will probably have to contend with living spaces getting simultaneously smaller and more expensive as time goes on.
As such, living in these urban centres—Hong Kong especially—requires some ingenuity, which architect Gary Chang has in spades. Living in the same 330 square-foot apartment that he used to share with his large family, Chang has transformed his tiny home into something that is eminently livable.
The aptly-named “Domestic Transformer” apartment’s main innovation is a sliding wall system that allows him to transform the single room into one of 24 different layouts. It features all of the amenities you would expect in a standard apartment—bookshelves, bathtub, kitchen, linen closet, main and guest beds—and some that you wouldn’t, such as a screening room complete with a comfy hammock for viewing. The windows are tinted in order to have natural golden light at all times of the day, and there are mirrors on the ceiling so that the tracks of the movable walls are hidden, as well as to give the illusion of more space. Stylistically, the apartment is sleek and modern.
So don’t fret that you’re not living in a mansion—with some good design chops, you can turn just about any living situation into a proper home.