Four-year-old Vera Wong Zi-wei’s favourite possession isn’t the most up-to-date Disney princess doll, but her completely new study desk that fits in to the 200 sq ft subdivided flat in Sham Shui Po she calls home.
Wong’s desk, complete with a secret compartment for her stationery and toys, is actually a rare commodity for families which are squeezed into cluttered, shoebox apartments.
“She utilized to only have the capacity to do homework over a folding table that needed to be set aside on a regular basis, the good news is she will work and play in the same space. It’s the first place she will go to when she gets home now,” Wong’s mother, Yan Nga-chi, said.
Coffin cubicles, caged homes and subdivisions … life inside Hong Kong’s grim low income housing
Wong, who lives together mother and grandmother, is among 70 low-income families which have benefitted from your project that aims to transform the living space of tiny flats with Furniture hk.
“Many grass-roots families don’t possess the extra cash to pay on furniture. Instead, they’ll hoard lots of second-hand furniture even though it’s not so practical because they don’t know if they’ll have the capacity to afford it down the road,” said social worker Angela Lui Yi-shan, who runs the project with human rights advocacy group Society for Community Organisation.
The HK$3 million home modification project, sponsored from the South China Morning Post since 2013, provides up to 120 low-income families with custom-made furniture, for example desks, shelves and storage cupboards, and also give their property a mini-makeover by rearranging their living area.
Prior to the modification, Yan’s apartment barely had any walking space when folding tables were put up for dinner or homework.
A three-seater sofa that doubled being a bed for Yan’s elderly mother had blocked half the corridor that triggered the bathroom and kitchen.
A large desk with little space for storage took up many of the living room, even though the floor was cluttered with multiple plastic boxes piled in addition to one another.
Hong Kong’s poorest squeezed as rents for tiny subdivided flats rise at double rate for other homes
The team of architects rearranged the present furniture and designed the investigation desk as well as 2 new shelving units to fit Yan’s living room.
By utilising our prime ceilings in old tenement houses, Yan’s family could use floor-to-ceiling storage as opposed to having storage boxes occupy limited floor space.
With the average four-year wait for public housing and ever-increasing rents inside the private sector, many residents who live below the poverty line are required to tolerate cramped 47dexlpky squalid living conditions that vary from cage homes to coffin cubicles.
Almost 200,000 people lived in many 88,000 subdivided units in 2015, based on official figures.
The Society for Community Organisation’s project focuses on families with education needs, in the hope that providing a dedicated working space will assist children focus better on their own studies and in the end supply the family the opportunity to escape poverty.
“Most from the children we assist lie on the ground or bed to perform their homework, and it’s not great for their own health or development, but this project will help change that,” Lui said.
DOMAT, the not-for-profit architecture firm that designs the Dining table Hong Kong, visits each family individually and makes things to suit your family and the peculiar layouts as a result of partitioned flats.
The furniture, built with a contractor in mainland China, was designed to be flexible so it can remain with the family when it moves into another subdivided flat or public housing.
“Based on their own daily habits, we have seen how our designs can match their demands. We want to use furniture like a tool to further improve their space, rather than just providing new furniture,” architect Maggie Ma said.
The company’s personal approach to the project can be another key good reason why the firm fails to like utilizing developers.
“What I realised [in building high rises] is the fact that so much of the process is controlled by market demand and exactly what can attract more income,” Ma said.
“In a means, they sacrifice a bit of the user’s needs, so we wanted to search for designs that are more humane. This project actually makes us understand more details on how people live and what exactly is most important directly to them.”
Although she was forced to move away from her apartment into another subdivided flat after the installation, Yan said the brand new furniture had transformed her home.
“When you first transfer to a flat, you don’t really think too much regarding the furniture. Everything was fine given that we had space to put our things. However, we are able to discover how practical bar stool HK can be and the way it can make a better living area,” she said.
Ma’s partner and fellow architect Mark Kingsley said: “It’s unlike those Shows where you visit your home and they’ve totally transformed it into something different. The ambition of your project is far more modest – to make small changes that could have a big effect on the household.”