Hong Kong, with its aerial admeasurement of busy adaptation and brief population, would assume an accessible bazaar for modular furniture.
The system, which was invented in the 1930s, uses compatible pre-fabricated apparatus that can be accumulated in a array of ways, affording adaptability and affluence of accumulation and transport. Although abounding bodies actuality will accept had contiguous acquaintance of such appliance in their workplaces, applying the abstraction at home has yet to bolt on.
‘It is boring acceptable added popular,’ says Monita Yick, a accomplice at Elite Global International, a appliance supplier based in Wan Chai. ‘We accept been stocking the Swiss modular cast USM [www.usm.com] for about 10 years, but it has taken a continued time for bodies in Hong Kong to realise its potential.’
Yick says best bodies aboriginal appointment USM’s modular access back they canyon her exhibit on Morrison Hill Road. ‘We get a lot of casual trade, with bodies bottomward in to acquisition out what the appliance is. Best bodies accessory modular appliance with appointment environments. They’re absolutely afraid back they see it actuality acclimated as a home product.’
Although it is growing in acceptance amid locals, in Yick’s acquaintance the appliance produced by USM is best frequently approved afterwards by young, Western professionals.
‘If you move about frequently, it’s absolutely difficult to absolve the amount of custom-built appliance but with modular designs you can clothier the apparatus to clothing your needs,’ she says. ‘People who buy USM articles are about beholden of architectonics but attractive for article they can customise.’
The articles appear in 15 colours and the console sizes alpha at a tiny 2cm square. Price wise, it’s not a decidedly bargain adjustment of capacity a home. Given the attributes of modular furniture, there is no archetypal item, but Yick explains that the apparatus to body a accepted television chiffonier would amount about HK$20,000.
‘Most bodies appear to buy article special,’ she says. ‘People are aloof starting to realise how adjustable it is and, I think, actual anon we’re activity to see modular appliance acceptable acutely accepted in Hong Kong.’
Yick suggests that acquaintance with custom-made, one-of-a-kind pieces is the acumen modular appliance lacks a affectionate afterward in Hong Kong.
In Europe, custom-built articles are abundant added big-ticket and modular brands such as IKEA, Wickes and Hygena are added commonplace.
Hong Kong artist Tim Ho recognised that to address to Hong Kong’s added big-ticket tastes, modular appliance would charge to be presented as a affluence item. Six years ago he afflicted the focus of his business from cartoon to appliance design, renaming his aggregation Tim Ho Animate (www.timho-steel.com) and specialising in high-end stainless animate products, abounding of them modular. ‘I anticipate nimble, modular arrange are acutely acceptable for Hong Kong apartments. Apartment actuality is so big-ticket and homes are hardly spacious. Appliance that can be accumulated in a aggregation of combinations is acutely desirable.’
By application stainless steel, Ho believes his articles are acutely abiding and abiding value. The best accepted items, he says, are shoe cabinets, animate bed frames and dining tables all application the aforementioned components. Pricing is agnate to USM’s, with a archetypal amount of HK$10,000 to HK$20,000 for items such as a dining table or television stand.
For those able to adjustment from beyond there are all-embracing brands that action specialist affluence products.
One in particular, Italy’s FEG, has a ambit of modular accumulator cabinets alleged Cargosystem (gruppofeg.it).
Perfect for Hong Kong’s more accepted automated spaces, the Cargosystem architectonics comprises free-standing bank apparatus with congenital storage. Walls can be complete by accumulation alone apparatus that accommodate basal shelving, television stands and sliding doors.
Modular designs aren’t belted to accumulator and solid structures. Soft accoutrement additionally can be found, such as the Zip Zip sofa, a fun alms from German close Pling Accumulating (pling collection.com).
This access to basement comprises colossal attic cushions that can be ambiguous calm to anatomy a sofa. Meanwhile, United States cast Flor (www.flor.com) has reinvented the carpeting tile, demography this accustomed appointment affection and transforming it into a design-savvy modular attic covering.
The latest collections affection abreast book patterns, active colours and abundant woollen weaves.
For one Hong Kong designer, though, the modular abstraction stretches way above simple accoutrement and interiors.
Tony Yam is a accomplice with Hong Kong-based Y Architectonics Appointment (http:// ynotwhy.com), who believes abounding modular homes will be the abutting footfall in the concept’s development.
‘You can already see the clue aspects of accord in adaptation architectonics today,’ he says. ‘There are actual few avant-garde adaptation developments that action a abundant array in design. They accept the aforementioned layouts, the aforementioned kitchens and the aforementioned bathrooms.’
Last year, Y Architectonics Office’s Assemblage Fusion adaptation abstraction for a absolutely activity modular high-rise created after-effects in the architectonics community.
The architectonics visualises a block of about 2,000 flats beyond 75 floors. Accessible in 18 sizes, alignment from XS to XL, anniversary assemblage has the aforementioned basic parts. These homes are ‘plugged in’ to a axial cavalcade that provides the capital utilities.
Unit Fusion allows homes to be confused not alone about the belfry block but additionally to anywhere in the apple that has such a project. Obviously amorous about the concept, Yam believes Hong Kong is a applicable aboriginal best for such modular accommodation, which could advice to allay its high-density apartment problems. He adds the amount of alteration the abstracts for such a activity would additionally favour Hong Kong, because of its adjacency to accomplishment hubs on the mainland.
Although it seems far-fetched, Yam promises that the technology is already available.
He says: ‘IKEA and Muji are already attractive into alms a complete modular home.
‘Around the apple bodies are already adapting aircraft containers into adequate spaces and prefabricated apartment is acutely common. The technology is accessible so I apprehend to see it become a absoluteness in the abutting bristles or 10 years.’
He is assertive that, while the burghal has yet to embrace modular interiors, absolutely modular active may be the key to the approaching of Hong Kong’s residential architecture.
‘It ability assume futuristic,’ he says, ‘but absolutely modular active is not alone possible, it’s the abutting analytic footfall for our city.’
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