An existing 40-year old house in Sha Tin district, Hong Kong was recently given a complete make-over by the architects at Millimeter Interior Design Limited. Overall costs were lowered by building the exterior walls over the existing structure. The new 5100 square-foot residence is currently divided into two stories and features a garage, a living room, two guest rooms and bathrooms, one helper suite, a master bedroom suite with a spacious walk in closet and a study room. The street facade reveals a striking garage, with LED light tubes imprinting a futuristic vibe.
A small maple tree was planted in the center of house and the open roof above brings natural light into the glass partitioned study room. Large solar panels were installed on the roof top to provide a source of natural power to water heaters, lighting and backup batteries. “Transforming an old fashioned style house into an urban-style home and yet maintaining the original construction without trace is something that deserves to be accredited. Now that environmental awareness or being socially responsible has become an increasing trend in society, bringing sustainability into homes is an alternate lifestyle for the new generation”, the architects stated.
What is new and exciting now can quickly begin to look tired and out of fashion, so the best buildings don’t just consider what will be interesting to look at now, but also how it might look to people in five, fifty or even a hundred years’ time. 2013’s hotly contested RIBA Stirling Prize went to Witherford Watson Mann Architects for their work on Astley Castle, Warwickshire. In what RIBA Past President Stephen Hodder has described as an extreme retrofit, the project essentially saw a new building inserted subtly into the heart of the old, with a new, two storey residence now hidden within the sandstone walls of the ruins of this medieval castle, to be used as a holiday home for up to eight guests
The best architects can create designs which will give clients and the public things they didn’t even realise they wanted, and this is especially important when architects are given the difficult brief of creating structures in much-loved, iconic areas.