An Urban Cottage by Lukstudio
An Urban Cottage is a minimalist wooden apartment located in Guangzhou, China, designed in 2020 by Lukstudio.
For most busy urbanites, home is like a temporary refuge and we would escape to the countryside for real rejuvenation. But for some lucky few, a home is their outlet to nature for complete relaxation. The higher expectation on home design is particularly relevant in the era of pandemics when most of us can no longer travel. After collaborating on a cafe and office project, Atelier Peter Fong, Lukstudio got the chance to work with Peter again on his apartment in central Guangzhou. Sharing a love for minimalistic design and natural materials, the project has been our continued dialogue on what gives comfort in a residence.
A reconfiguration to bring in more daylight
The old layout is full of rooms along the exterior envelop, resulting in a dark central dining area much like a leftover transition. The new layout opens up the study and places a multifunctional table next to the south window. The simple change brings in natural light to the center where an open kitchen is now located, connecting the living and dining area into one continuous open space.
A white box to free the space
The new circulation path between living space and secondary bedrooms has been optimized with an entire wall of storage, crucial for keeping a neat home. Within this new white “box”, three harmonious voids are “carved” for different purposes. The one at the foyer is a seating nook for putting on or taking off shoes, a hospitable feature to welcome anyone coming through the door. The corner display niche is essential in heightening visual connection in the apartment. While the last elongated recess serves as a focal point, displaying an item close to heart.
The transcendence of natural materiality
The original 180-sqm apartment comes with shiny marbles, dark wood and alcove ceilings, a formula commonly recognized as “luxurious” in the Chinese residential property market. For Peter and us, solid planks of Douglas define our vision of luxury because its distinct colour, grain pattern and smell recall the memory of living in the countryside. Apart from lining the wall, floor, ceiling of different rooms, the 28mm solid planks are made into shelves, banquette seating, dining table and bedframes. Its presence in every room conveys an air of vacation throughout the apartment.
Collective and individual spots for relaxation
While open spaces ensure the family having quality time together, nooks and crannies are just as important for each individual to feel at ease alone. At the master bedroom, a wooden frame goes around the two windows, defining cozy bay seating areas on either side of the reeded TV wall. At the corner where all the beautiful materials come together, a vanity is reserved for the lady of the house.
At the kid’s room, a play den is surrounded by storage cabinets, training tidy habits from an early age. Wooden planks are shaped into a dream hut, creating a safe environment to let imagination go wild.
Stripping a home to its essentials requires as much control from the designer as the inhabitants. The urban “cottage” showcases a minimalistic living from a disciplined design. By optimizing flow, bringing in daylight and integrating natural materials, the resulting home brings comfort and freedom to the family, transcending their daily lives into a timeless vacation.
Photography by Wen Studio