Hong Kong architect Gary Chang has renovated his tiny apartment four times since he’s owned it. The most recent renovation is called “The Domestic Transformer”.
Mr. Chang hopes that some of his home’s innovations might be replicated to help improve domestic life in Hong Kong, which has been troubled in recent years. The population grew by nearly a half-million in just the last 10 years, and between 2003 and 2007, reports of new cases of child, spousal and elder abuse nearly doubled, something social workers attribute in part to new social pressures caused by the city’s ongoing shortage of space.
“It’s a big problem,” Mr. Chang said. “Killing each other is not uncommon.”
“People feel trapped,” he said. “We have to find ways to live together in very small spaces.”
In Mr. Chang’s solution, a kind of human-size briefcase, everything can be folded away so that the space feels expansive, like a yoga studio.
The wall units, which are suspended from steel tracks bolted into the ceiling, seem to float an inch above the reflective black granite floor. As they are shifted around, the apartment becomes all manner of spaces — kitchen, library, laundry room, dressing room, a lounge with a hammock, an enclosed dining area and a wet bar.