The non-existing “White Box”

The project is to renovate a residence built 150-years ago. Within this heritage-listed residence, there were restrictions with what we can do; however a design to suit modern lifestyle was required of us.

So, what is the historical importance of our design?

By being in this space, we were filled with curiosity – for people in historical time with lesser average height, why did they have an excessive 4m ceiling height? Why was it necessary to have enormous 30cm timber skirting? From modern standard, the decorations around windows and doors could also be labelled “excessive”. Inside this residence there existed a world irrelevant to modern senses of scale and necessity. We then attempted at consolidating the functions to accommodate modern lifestyle – lighting, storage etc - into a 60cm thickness, at doorways of each room. As it then became an inseparable part of the doorways, when looking from the corridor it was as though nothing had changed since olden days. Original fireplaces, timber skirting, and decorations at windows and doors came into view, leading to an impression that everything was untouched in the residence other than its renewal. However, stepping into the room one step at the time, then turning around to face the doorway one entered through, the existence of the minimal, modern “White Box” (“additional design”) became apparent. This “White Box” is equipped with uplighting to highlight the excessive height of this residence. This minimal design brought to life the original decorative design (“existing design”).

By respecting the existing elements, and incorporating into modern lifestyle the “excessiveness” of original decorations enjoyed by people through history, we found in the process, the historical importance of our design. Furthermore, with the subtle contrast between “existing design” and “additional design” we found our answer to the coexistence of historical and modern designs.


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Coming soon