Gary Chang – Reconfigurable Living Spaces – Suitcase House Hotel
When Gary Chang spoke at the Simplicity Symposium at Ars Electronica curated by John Maeda last year, I was amazed by his life story growing up in Hong Kong in cramped conditions and how as an architect these experiences have shaped his interest in creating living and working spaces. Gary founded his company EDGE in 1994, and quickly gained a reputation for his dedication to work and award-winning multi-disciplinary designs. In 2003, the company was renamed EDGE Design Institute to better describe its mix of research-based and commercial activities.
His own appartment in Hong Kong which he once lived in with his whole family has now become a testing ground for him to experiment with ways of making reconfigurable spaces. Ultimate spatial flexibility is created through the multiple operations of the partitions. lighting. and mobile furniture. All the mundane necessities of bachelor life – books. CDs. clothing, pictures. stereo, videos are stacked on a chrome factory shelving system and hidden discreetly behind floating white curtains. the central space becomes the actual space for living, working, eating, sleeping, chatting, dressing and reading. Blue fluorescent tubes are carefully placed to wash the floor with an unearthly glow, while bright up-lighting articulates structural members. the main aperture of the front window offers views to the world beyond whether the actual view out of the window, or through the large scale movie screen to the fantasy world of hollywood, the real world of news, or the electronic world of internet.
The progression from this project was the ‘Suitcase House Hotel’ which the images above and below show
"Casting a question mark on the proverbial image of the house, Suitcase House Hotel attempts to rethink the nature of intimacy, privacy, spontaneity and flexibility. It is a simple demonstration of the desire for ultimate adaptability, in pursuit of a proscenium for infinite scenarios, a plane of sensual (p)leisure."
"Imagine. In the daytime, a couple stays in the Suitcase. They could open up all the sliding partitions and enjoy a totally indoor open space with a dimension of 44 by 5 meter. Later in the day, they may open up a series of chamber according to their mood. Listen to the music in the Music chamber, read a book in the Library, meditate on the glazed floor. In the evening, when more guests arrive, the entire space turns into a lounge for party, celebration and other events. Rooms could then be gradually formulated when the night falls. A maximum of 7 guest rooms would be formed, which may accommodate up to 14 guests if the party goes late and they stay overnight."
To blur the boundaries between House, Interior and Furniture, the entire structure and elements are monotonically cladded in timber inside and outside of the steel structure supported by and cantilevered out from the concrete base which house facilities including a pantry, maid’s quarter, boiler room and the sauna.
update heres a film showing what Gary did to his own home