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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

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Desperate landlords offer renovation subsidies to lure tenants as Hong Kong’s vacant office space hits 21-year high

Hong Kong’s commercial landlords are offering incentives such as renovation subsidies to lure tenants, as the amount of office space lying empty reaches the highest level in 21 years, according to property services company CBRE.

Some landlords have begun offering a one-off subsidy to help new tenants fit out their office space, said Alan Lok, executive director of advisory and transaction services for offices at CBRE.

“In some cases, the landlord would offer a subsidy of about HK$100 (US$12.9) per square foot,” said Lok during a briefing on Wednesday.

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The subsidy is attractive because relocation costs in Hong Kong are very expensive, he said. For a prime renovation costing HK$1,000 per sq ft, the relocation cost may add up to HK$1,200 per sq ft after including the price of returning the office to its original state when the lease ends. The cost can be spread out to a monthly HK$30 per sq ft or thereabouts over three years.

“For most relocations with cutting costs as the objective, it takes a place with a rent of HK$30 per square foot less than” the original rent to justify the move, said Lok. “Some offices do not have their head offices in Hong Kong. It is not that easy to approve that sum [for renovation].”

According to CBRE, 7.8 million sq ft of office space – greater than the size of four Central Plazas – sat vacant in Hong Kong in September, the highest since 1999. An additional 950,000 sq ft of surrendered space – returned by tenants before the lease expires – is available in the market, just shy of the size of the HSBC building.

Desperate landlords have been offering a broader range

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Desperate landlords offer renovation subsidies to lure tenants as Hong Kong’s vacant office space hits 21-year high



a skyscraper in a city: The amount of office space lying empty reached the highest level in 21 years in September, according to property services company CBRE. Photo: K Y Cheng


© SCMP
The amount of office space lying empty reached the highest level in 21 years in September, according to property services company CBRE. Photo: K Y Cheng

Hong Kong’s commercial landlords are offering incentives such as renovation subsidies to lure tenants, as the amount of office space lying empty reaches the highest level in 21 years, according to property services company CBRE.

Some landlords have begun offering a one-off subsidy to help new tenants fit out their office space, said Alan Lok, executive director of advisory and transaction services for offices at CBRE.

“In some cases, the landlord would offer a subsidy of about HK$100 (US$12.9) per square foot,” said Lok during a briefing on Wednesday.

Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China.

The subsidy is attractive because relocation costs in Hong Kong are very expensive, he said. For a prime renovation costing HK$1,000 per sq ft, the relocation cost may add up to HK$1,200 per sq ft after including the price of returning the office to its original state when the lease ends. The cost can be spread out to a monthly HK$30 per sq ft or thereabouts over three years.

“For most relocations with cutting costs as the objective, it takes a place with a rent of HK$30 per square foot less than” the original rent to justify the move, said Lok. “Some offices do not have their head offices in Hong Kong. It is not that easy to approve that sum (for renovation).”

According to CBRE, 7.8 million sq ft of office space – greater than the size of four Central Plazas – sat vacant in Hong Kong in September, the highest since 1999. An additional 950,000 sq ft of surrendered space – returned by

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Temporary homes are castles for Hong Kong’s poor

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70-year-old Lau Kai Fai is one of the first recipients of a Hong Kong ‘transitional home’ — the city’s latest initiative to address its serious housing shortage. Gloria Tso reports.

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