How this Hong Kong apartment’s views informed its interior design



a kitchen with a dining room table: Tommy Hui designed this Wong Chuk Hang apartment, aptly named the Bird Hide, to make the most of its panoramic views. Photography: Steven Ko


Tommy Hui designed this Wong Chuk Hang apartment, aptly named the Bird Hide, to make the most of its panoramic views. Photography: Steven Ko

A good view is a terrible thing to waste. And the view from the 690 sq ft Wong Chuk Hang flat that Tommy Hui Shui-cheung was hired to renovate is truly spectacular: a sweeping panorama of Bennett’s Hill and Aberdeen Harbour, with folds of greenery rolling into the sea.

“We wondered how to focus the interior on the views,” says Hui, founder of local architecture firm TBC Studio.

The clients, a young couple – a nurse and an urban planner – plan to have children, but for now they wanted a sanctuary where they could relax with family and friends. Hui worked with them to create a design he calls the Bird Hide, a reference to lookouts built to observe nature, birds especially, at close range.

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Hui wanted to make the flat as calming as its views, so he chose a relaxed palette of blond wood, complemented by a creamy pastel blue-green – the colour of the sea on a sunny day.



diagram, engineering drawing


© Provided by South China Morning Post


“We separated the living room and the dining room into two material finishes: wood veneer on one side and paint on the other,” says Hui. “For the paint, it needed to be a colour that wasn’t too dark, something more natural and cosy.”

The layout needed small changes, too. The flat’s front door opens directly into the dining and living area, so Hui used a slatted partition to create a foyer offering a gradual transition into the flat.

The next challenge was the kitchen. As in most Hong Kong flats, the small kitchen was closed off from the living and dining areas.

“It felt quite narrow,” says Hui. “So we demolished the solid partition and changed it into a glass wall so you can see through to the windows and the living space.”

Although open kitchens are now fashionable, Hui notes that they are not always practical.

“Enclosed kitchens are more functional for a lot of Chinese families because there can be a lot of smoke or smells from the cooking.” With the glass wall, he says, “it feels open but it can still be closed”.

Inside a Hong Kong home infused with Japanese aesthetics

A hallway leads from the living and dining areas to the bathroom and bed-rooms. The living room’s wood veneer wall wraps around the corner, leading to a built-in cabinet in the passage Hui designed to showcase the couple’s keepsakes. Across the hallway is a toilet and a bath-room, which the clients were inspired to separate after travelling to Japan.

“In Japan, these are often separate so they can be used by two people at the same time,” says Hui.

In addition, Japanese hygiene practices have long revolved around concepts of purity and impurity. Bathing

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Virginia legislator with covid warned his church, but House colleagues say they weren’t informed

But House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) said neither Wright nor his office officially notified his fellow legislators, who’d met with him a week earlier, on Aug. 18, when the House convened for one day in a basketball arena before moving the rest of a special legislative session to an online format.

While a guest column written by Wright, 72, popped up in a local publication criticizing Democratic House leaders for operating virtually, he had been absent from online House and committee meetings since Aug. 29. He returned for the first time Monday.

Since then, Wright and House Republicans have offered no explanation for his extended absence. He made no mention of his test Monday and was not asked about it publicly.

Wright and a spokesman for House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday, after The Washington Post and other news outlets obtained a copy of Mulchi’s email to the church.

Filler-Corn, who’s faced harsh Republican criticism for the decision to go virtual, welcomed Wright back Tuesday with wishes for good health — and a rebuke for keeping House members in the dark. She said in a statement that she was “incredibly disappointed” that he and GOP leaders did not disclose the positive test to the legislature.

There is no requirement that legislators disclose personal health information, but Filler-Corn suggested that Wright owed a warning to those he could have exposed.

“This lack of transparency when it comes to this highly contagious disease is incredibly troubling,” she wrote. “Every Delegate and individual present at the Siegel Center on August 18th had a right to know of Delegate Wright’s reported positive test for their safety, their family’s safety and the safety of their communities.”

A legislator since 2001, Wright is not the first lawmaker known to have tested positive for the virus during the special session. Sen. Bryce E. Reeves (R-Spotsylvania) tested positive in mid-August. His fellow senators, who’ve been convening in a sprawling meeting room at the Science Museum of Virginia, were immediately notified.

The novel coronavirus has a relatively long incubation period, and people infected with it have been found to spread it before they experience symptoms covid-19, the illness the virus causes.

Filler-Corn has said that meeting remotely is the best way to keep the state’s 100 delegates safe during the special session, which was called to address the pandemic’s effect on the state budget and to overhaul criminal justice in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in May.

House Democrats resorted to procedural gymnastics to overcome GOP opposition to the rules change that has allowed the House to convene online. Republicans, some hailing from districts with poor Internet service, have complained that virtual meetings are unworkable and unnecessary for health considerations.

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