Designed by Nelson Chow of Hong Kong-based architecture practice NCDA, “The Imperfect Residence” is a recently refurbished Hong Kong one-bedroom apartment. The title nevertheless succinctly references the designer’s guiding light, namely the ancient Japanese philosophy Wabi Sabi which is based on finding beauty in the imperfect and valuing simplicity.
Translated into the language of interior design, these principles have produced a residence of understated elegance and contemporary minimalism where everything is seamlessly integrated into the building fabric and where bold geometries are combined with materials in their natural unfinished state.
Sticking with the Japanese origins of Wabi Sabi-informed interior design, the apartment is configured as a ceremonial three-step journey that takes you from Sculpture Garden, to the Sanctuary, to the Altar. Connected by darker passages, the three principal spaces are airy, and bright, holistically designed as concise compositions.
Entering through a dark timber-clad vestibule, the sculpture garden-inspired living room features smooth hand-brushed plaster walls, parquet flooring inlaid with marble and oxidized metal pieces. Opening one of the wall folding panels lining the marble riser reveals the entrance to the Sanctuary. Reached through a timber-clad elevated platform inspired by the concept of genkan – a traditional Japanese entryway which separates the outside world – the sleeping area is dominated by a large window that illuminates a harmonious assembly of geometries and materials. Another hidden door, this one at the end of the elevated passage, leads to the Altar, namely the dressing room and master bathroom. Take a look at how these spaces are organized and get inspired by this unique design!