Alex, the name of the project as well as that of its owner, was designed as a utopian space for a bachelor who loves the bare beauty of minimalist lines. This new 47 sqm two-room public housing flat came with the standard compartmentalised areas for living, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. Good design is based on function, and I’m not afraid to break conventions to achieve it. I removed unnecessary internal walls and doors to achieve a continuous flow of space, with functions positioned and designed in a way which considers ease of use and the homeowner’s priorities.
Alex still has functional zones to play, work, sleep, cook and bathe, but without any physical or visual demarcation between them. I reconfigured and expressed the functional spaces as a series of cubiods (cabinetry) with a unified design language, pushing them against the flat’s perimeter to optimise the common space. The profile of these structures and their openings were carefully calibrated for a sense of order and proportion. For easy maintenance and pattern consistency, I only used one wood-look laminate for the cabinetry, instead of solid wood. The light fixture was also customised, as a blue metal pole which transverses the spaces.
Although the design appears simple, constructing it required superb craftsmanship and detailing for the structures to appear clean and crisp. With this project, I wanted to demonstrate that size does not matter, and a high level of lifestyle and design can still be achieved in public housing, even within 47 sqm of space. I also created a wall-hung coin bank spray-painted neon orange to meet fengshui requirements and customised the lighting as a 32mm diameter round blue metal tube that goes from wall to wall to look like visual art. There is a sense of wonder and delight when one explores the home, uncovering its secret functions behind closed doors. When at ease in the space, there is a contemplative calm where one can sit for hours admiring its quiet beauty, which the owner does. Less is more; I don’t design more than what is required.