Cover This house in Fo Tan, Hong Kong, was designed by Ada Leung of Adapa Architects

For the owners of this sprawling house in Fo Tan, Hong Kong, it was important for their home to evolve for their three growing children—though that didn’t mean they couldn’t have fun with the design

A “cheerful and playful home for the kids, and to display their art collection” was what the owners of this house briefed Ada Leung, founder of Hong Kong-based Adapa Architects, when she took on this project.

Located in Fo Tan, in the New Territories in Hong Kong, the 4,000 sq ft house spans two storeys and has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. The private garden measures an additional 3,500 sq ft.

“The clients’ three daughters are growing up, and they have different tastes and practical needs,” explains Leung. It is important, she says, for the new design to be “flexible but unique,” and also with space that accommodated a rotation of art on display. 

Instead of simply redividing spaces, the designer carried out major changes, including a remodelling of the staircase and the construction of a swimming pool, among other features.

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Leung knows the owners well, having previously designed the first home they lived in as newlyweds. This project took two years to complete, with around six months devoted to the creative process. “We were given a lot of freehand in the design and wanted to make sure the home is fun and playful,” notes Leung. The creative period allowed for presentations of design ideas with the clients.

The front façade of the house was built in a Spanish-inspired style, which Leung describes as “very popular [in Hong Kong] in the 1990s.” It was one of the few original design details that remained. “Apart from that, we changed almost everything.”

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A contemporary style of interiors dominate the space. Geometric shapes and lines are an important theme, and the design is carefully orchestrated at every turn.

This is especially evident in the garden, which itself is irregularly shaped. An organic freeform pool was constructed, along with a floating seating area. On the other side of the outdoor space, a putting green was added—an area chiefly for dad to relax in, says Leung. Outdoor furniture were sourced from Tribù. The expansive garden is, all in all, a great “hangout spot” for the family.

Meanwhile, a space in the house with views of the pool has also been transformed into a study, complete with plenty of bookshelves and storage space.

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Back in the house, the entry foyer and living room feature a distinctive design: an arch runs along both of these spaces. The designer put it to good use: a staircase by the front door runs along half of the arch. A new study-slash-playroom for the girls, which is located within the living room, sit right in front of the other half of the arch—a “unique design” for the newly created space.

The new area allows the girls, who each have their own bedroom, ample opportunity to spend time together. 

The foyer has a slightly different look from the playroom. The former has a classic aesthetic and is decorated with a bench from Riva 1920 and lighting from Brand Van Egmon. The latter has a playful feel, thanks to the variety of brightly coloured ottomans, which also create a contrast with the B&B Italia dark grey sofa set.

This wasn’t the only space created for the children to gather. Over in the kitchen, a sleek island made of marble was installed for the daughters to spend time learning how to cook, explains Leung. 

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Meanwhile, a big window facing the garden was put in, while a frameless skylight was created on the upper floor. “We tried to bring in as much natural light as possible, so that the colours and materials in the house change at different times of the day,” says Leung. And with that, “the mood of the house changes as well.” Soft, indirect lighting can also be found throughout the home. “These emphasise the geometrical forms in the house, and accented the artwork and furniture.” 

Neutral tones and materials can be seen throughout the home. Walnut wood and “a very light beige limestone” are the base colours, which, combined with the geometrical design throughout the space, make for a great backdrop for the furniture and artwork to stand out. “The type of walnut wood we used has a brownish tint instead of yellowish tint, for a good balance of warmth—yet it’s not too old-fashioned,” adds Leung. 

With the clients being keen art collectors, treasured pieces are displayed around the home. “They rotate their collection quite frequently,” remembers Leung. The dining room is a favourite spot for the art to be showcased. The designer recalls seeing a piece depicting an opera singer, noting that it added “a lot of energy and vibes to the home.” 

Meanwhile, a new set of dining chairs from Poltrona Frau are a new addition to this space, as is a Louis Poulsen pendant light hanging from the ceiling. 

Leung credits the clients for placing “all the trust” in her team. Aside from a small delay with a swimming pool contractor, the project had run smoothly.

Ultimately, she says, it was important to ensure that not only are the owners’ practical needs fulfilled, but that their home could be something they could “connect with emotionally.” 

 

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