- Gary Chang - Edge Design Ltd
Gary Chang - Edge Design Ltd
Chang earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Hong Kong in 1987, and his career has focused primarily on the study of space and finding the best solutions for tight spaces located in places with high urban density like Hong Kong, one of the most overcrowded cities in the world.
It is not incidental that one of Chang’s best-known works is his own home in Hong Kong, where he grew up with his parents, sisters and another tenant, in just 32 square metres.
Dating back to the 1960s, this small space comprised three bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a hallway, in a 17-story building with 370 residential units.
Chang transformed this tiny space (now known as the Domestic Transformer) into a bright, liveable and pleasant environment, thanks to the 24 possible combinations obtained by using wall panels, which “suspended from metal tracks bolted into the ceiling, seem to float an inch above the reflective black granite floor made.” (V. Gardiner, NYTimes)
Shifting these movable walls around, the apartment is transformed into other spaces, revealing bookshelves, kitchen, bathtub, sofa bed, laundry, wardrobe, big-screen TV, and a living room with hammock and wet bar, all in a space where the mirrored ceilings contribute to optimizing the sensation of spaciousness.
About this project that Chang has been working on for thirty years, since he was an adolescent and wanted to break down the walls to expand the home’s potentials, Chang commented: “The idea is that each individual can look at his own home with greater attention, to better optimize his resources, because space is a resource. It makes no sense to build your home as the most beautiful apartment just for show, when the space that is created is not actually used.”
Today this apartment is considered one of the most functional residential models of the 21st century, with reconfigurable, temporary spaces, able to multiple the flexibility of modules, partitions, materials and applied technologies.
This project is the subject of his book My 32m2 Apartment - a 30-year transformation (MCCM Creation, 2008), but more generally the investigation of the reduction of residential space is one of the central themes in contemporary architecture, according to Chang. These issues were also the focus of the installation created by Chang at the 2000 Venice Biennale.
Edge Design Institute
Chang’s firm Edge Design Institute was founded in 1994 and is active particularly in the areas of residential building construction, contracting projects, and installations for commercial and entertainment spaces, as well as product design. Chang is able to address these diverse areas thanks to the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach that distinguishes his work, always placing at the centre of the design methodology the concept of limited space, flexibility and adaptability to optimize all possible resources.
The Suitcase House Hotel in Beijing (2002) is a project that expands the concept of maximum adaptability of the Domestic Transformer. In the form of a long rectangular box (44 x 5 m), this space is made mainly of wood, concrete and steel for the structural support and adapts to different uses and programmes in a flexible and extremely functional manner.
A public gathering place during the day, the Suitcase House Hotel transforms into a multi-spatial hotel structure for guests at night, all through the use of movable panels and doors. In addition to the actual living room, the space can be used for reading, listening to music, or meditation, or as a space for parties and events.
Other important projects of Edge Design Institute include the Broadway Cinematheque in Yau Ma Tei (1996); the Gifu Kitagata Housing Phase II, in Japan; Shanghai Jing'an International Sculpture (2017).
Chang has a long and successful collaboration with Alessi that includes products such as the Kung-Fu Tea-set for Tea & Coffee Tower (2003), the ultra-compact Treasure Box for Urban Nomads (2007), and the multipurpose Trick and Treat tray (2011).
Along with his building work, Chang carries out intense teaching activity, giving conferences and lectures in many academic institutions, such as the Technische Universiteit in Delft (1997), the Royal College of Art in London (1999), Milan Polytecnic (2002), the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Gary Chang - Edge Design Institute Ltd. selected works
- Shangai Jing'an Sculpture, Shangai, 2017
- Private Music Studio, Hong Kong (Cina), 2016
- Park Hyatt Beijing - Tian Spa, Pechino (Cina), 2015
- Jia Cake Stand (2015)
- Hotel Monochrome (progetto), Nanchino (Cina), 2015
- Appartamento privato West Kowloon, Hong Kong (Cina), 2014
- V Wanchai 2, Wanchai, Hong Kong (Cina), 2012
- Casa de Gusto Acts Rednaxela, Hong Kong (Cina), 2011
- Negozio Beyond Organic - iSquare, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong (Cina), 2010
- Negozio Beyond Organic - TimeSquare, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong (Cina), 2010
- Chow Sang Sang Flagship Store, Sanlitun, Pechino (Cina), 2008
- Gary's Apartment, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong (Cina), 2007
- ACTS Happy Valley Serviced Apartments, Happy Valley, Hong Kong (Cina), 2007
- The Domestic Transformer, Hong Kong (Cina), 2007
- Gusto Happy Valley, Hong Kong (Cina), 2007
- Installazione urbana The Cascade, Hong Kong (Cina), 2006
- Suitcase House Hotel, Pechino (Cina), 2002
- HK Arts Centre Foyer Renovation, Wanchai, Hong Kong (Cina), 2000
- Hong Lok Yuen Villa, Tai Po, Hong Kong (Cina), 1996
- Broadway Cinematheque, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong (Cina), 1996
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