Cover Ed Ng and Terence Ngan's home features floor-to-ceiling windows and vibrantly coloured furniture

The duo behind design studio AB Concept has worked on projects for major brands around the world. But their latest venture is more personal: the transformation of their pied-à-terre in the heart of the Taiwanese capital

Located in the heart of Taipei, this apartment ticks a lot of boxes for interior designer Ed Ng and architect Terence Ngan, the founders of Hong Kong-based design studio AB Concept.

“Taipei has always been one of my hubs—I constantly travel, and AB Concept also has an office there,” says Ng. The firm’s projects take Ng and Ngan to countries across the globe; they are behind the design of Argo at the Four Seasons Hong Kong, Shang Palace at Shangri-La Far Eastern, Taipei, and the spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, to name just a few.

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This apartment is close to Taipei Songshan Airport and the office. It has floor-to-ceiling windows that offer beautiful city views and an abundance of natural lighting, and is also located on a tree-lined boulevard. “Taipei is a city of hustle and bustle, but the trees cover that busy feeling,” he adds. “When you walk in, what you see in front of you is green. This is something we really enjoy.”

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Taking up the fifth floor of a new development, the 4,036 sq ft apartment was originally a bare shell. “My first impression of the property was of a blank canvas in an elegant setting,” says Ngan. “We had been looking at pre-owned properties; they always came with many rooms and partitions, which meant it would have been almost impossible [for the home] to match our tastes and lifestyles without major demolition.”

The pair considered building multiple bedrooms for visiting friends and family, but ultimately decided against it—the apartment’s proximity to the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei, was one of the reasons. “Putting friends and family there might be even better [than hosting them],” says Ng.

The decision was also influenced by the desire to create a layout that’s rarely seen in homes of this size: “Our guts were telling us this is a very rare opportunity for us to materialise our dream to create [a home with] only one bedroom with [two] en suites,” explains Ngan—something that’s unlikely to happen in client projects they take on.

This is a very rare opportunity for us to materialise our dream to create a home with only one bedroom
Terence Ngan

Ng and Ngan crafted their perfect pied-à-terre over a year-long process. The pair wanted to be able to display the extensive collection of treasures—“furniture, decorative lighting, rugs, artwork and all kinds of things”—they had acquired over the years, so employed neutral tones and a minimalist fit-out to allow the pieces to be the stars of the show.

Terrazzo dominates the apartment, from the floors and the kitchen island to the finishes in the bathrooms, including the bathtub with its picturesque views. Terrazzo, which finds its origins in Italy, was frequently used in Hong Kong construction throughout the last century, so Ng was familiar with it in childhood. Taiwan, meanwhile, also has a history of using the material, thanks to western influences across the island, as well as terrazzo’s affordability and suitability for tropical climates. The use of the material in their new home “really brings in a cultural connection”, Ng says. “The [visual] impact is so strong: everything is one material, from the wall to the floor.”

The visual impact is so strong: everything is one material, from the wall to the floor
Ed Ng

The layout is also visually striking. “The nice thing about this apartment is that when you walk in, you immediately see a nice balcony between the living and resting quarters,” says Ng. From the entryway, the bedroom—which is bookended by two bathrooms—is to the right, while the living space is to the left. Given the considerable size of the home, the challenge was in creating the right proportions. “You don’t want something that looks like you’re living in a furniture gallery,” says Ng.

The bedroom leads to an intimate lounge that doubles as a work-from-home space; it is decorated with an antique fireplace by Nostalgia UK, a vintage fireplaces specialist, and two inviting “papa bear” chairs by Hans Wegner. It leads to a second sitting area.

Back in the living space, an eclectic selection of mid-century-modern pieces decorates the main living room, which also features a variety of hanging plants—Ngan’s pride and joy. This is something the two say they are looking forward to taking care of again—Taipei is at the top of their destination list.

A beautiful space filled with cherished pieces—and showcasing their “love of light, greenery and simplicity”, says Ngan—the apartment is a reflection of the owners’ passions and personalities. “The layout, the materials, each piece of furniture and small trinkets on the coffee table hold a memory and story,” he adds. “I believe each home is a narration of someone’s life story; it takes years to curate every single element, one by one, to make it a home.”

  • PhotographyDean Cheng (interiors), Kohei Take (portrait)
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