by Teresa Chow on Jul 17, 2013 in Interiors
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A seaside home on Hong Kong Island gets a witty, vibrant re-connection with nature, thanks to Johnny Wong and Miho Hirabayashi of FAK3

There is no greater joy than seeing the clear blue sky and an emerald green ocean on a hot summer’s day. Even better, of course, would be living in close proximity to the sea, enjoying cool breezes while connecting to beautiful scenes of nature just on your doorstep.

For the owner of a standalone seaside home perched on a hillside on Hong Kong Island, the dream is a wonderful reality.But until design firm FAK3 arrived on the scene, the property strangely closed off to natural light for the most part – a problem which FAK3 founder Johnny Wong (one of our honorees at the Perspective 40 Under 40 young talent programme in 2008) and Miho Hirabayashi put at the top of their list of issues to tackle.

Essentially, FAK3 was commissioned to mastermind a cheerful transformation for the 40-year old house and its landscaped gardens. The first order of business, then, was to find a way to bring light all the way down to the basement – and the solution was a simple, elegant light well.A series of architectural interventions were deployed to reconnect the house with light.

According to Hirabayashi, the home’s layout consisted of a series of long, narrow, floor plates with an offset opening at each level – and staggered into the hillside. The immediate solution was to create a ‘ribbon-like’ structure, connecting all the floors in a sequence of twirls. “This creates an exciting transition through each floor level and the void space created by the stairs acts as a light well, drawing natural light into the basement level.”