We look at apartment overhauls that go above and beyond your average renovation
As far as renovation projects go, the redesign of this apartment at Bayshore Park Condominium for a young couple was downright Herculean.
You see, it wasn’t just about skin-deep alterations to how the apartment looked. It was about upending the very core of the apartment to create an open, fluid home.
The original apartment was an awkward puzzle of oddly-angled spaces – not the most ideal shell for a home, as designer Matthew Lai of Studio XMSL says. He shares that the easiest way to deal with it was to “hack away all the walls and start over”, especially since the owners had a very specific, almost paradoxical brief for a home that is communal but also offers moments of reprieve when required.
Corridor of spaces
Once all the non-structural walls were removed, Matthew reconfigured the house into a series of spaces that loop themselves around a central core made up of the storeroom and walk-in wardrobe. Around this core, one space extends into the next, and that into the next, in a continuous “corridor of spaces”. This directly addresses the couple’s fondness for having large groups of guests over.
“With big parties, people come in different groups and they usually gather in cliques,” Matthew explained.
“In this home, there are various corners where different groups of people can gather, yet maintain visual contact with one another. So if you’re the owner, you can move around quite easily, interacting with various groups of people,” he said.
“While the home has a very public kind of layout, it is also an intensely-private home. And in any kind of relationship, you need personal space. Same goes for husband and wife,” said Matthew.
Considering day to day living, the designer saw how both husband and wife can be at home at the same time without disturbing the other by taking an alternative route around the apartment.
Underlining the flow of spaces, Matthew was very careful with how he detailed the spaces. In contrast to the abrupt angles of the original layout, he rounded off any corners facing the corridor to emphasise the fluidity of space, as do gentle curvatures in the false ceiling.
Colors to demarcate & evoke
Given the continuous thread of spaces, it was important to clearly demarcate one space from the next. For this, spaces like the dining area and study area are appointed in sophisticated black as a contrast to lighter adjacent spaces.
Colour surprises turn up in the bathroom where soft pink and turquoise envelope the powder room and master bathroom respectively while timber accents find their way throughout the apartment, ensuring that the home always feels warm and cosy.
Article first published in Lookbox Living #36 May/Jun 2014
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