This Hip Hong Kong Apartment Building Nails Small Space Living
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This Hip Hong Kong Apartment Building Nails Small Space Living

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Charlie & Rose turn a Hong Kong building into The Nate—a mixed-use apartment complex with chic studios, communal living areas, and a rooftop garden.

Hong Kong-based, Australian architect Ben McCarthy of Charlie & Rose is well known for his creatively designed hospitality and food and beverage projects. His design sensibilities caught the attention of Hong Kong–based property developer District 15, who commissioned McCarthy to design a serviced studio apartment complex named The Nate.

The Nate is located on Nathan Road in the heart of the bustling Tsim Sha Tsui area in Kowloon, Hong Kong. McCarthy was asked to distill the needs of urban living and create a fun environment where residents can enjoy the best elements of a home condensed into cleverly designed studio units. 

The Nate exterior.

The Nate exterior.

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The ground floor entrance.

The ground floor entrance.

The ground floor lift lobby.

The ground floor lift lobby.

The Nate's program includes: a retail podium from the ground to the fourth floor, 71 ultra-compact studio apartments with en-suite bathrooms spread across the upper eight levels, and a communal living and kitchen area on the top floor with a rooftop garden above it. 

A corridor leading to the rooms.

A corridor leading to the rooms.

The Nate's communal lounge and kitchen.

The Nate's communal lounge and kitchen.

A relaxing spot near the window in the communal lounge.

A relaxing spot near the window in the communal lounge.

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The studio apartments, which range in size from 90 to 250 feet, are cleverly designed to optimize functionality while maintaining an elegant and cheerful feel. 

A communal dining area in the kitchen.

A communal dining area in the kitchen.

A fully equipped communal kitchen.

A fully equipped communal kitchen.

A communal laundry area.

A communal laundry area.

"The floor plan of the original building had only two apartments per floor, so creating ten well-appointed apartments that did not feel too cramped, and that had enough storage, was a challenge," says McCarthy. 

The rooftop deck looks out to city views.

The rooftop deck looks out to city views.

The rooftop deck is a great place for alfresco dining in the summer.

The rooftop deck is a great place for alfresco dining in the summer.

An aerial view of the rooftop deck.

An aerial view of the rooftop deck.

The apartments are available in eight different layouts, and most have bunk or niche beds to free up floor space. 

Guest room 1

Guest room 1

Guest room 7

Guest room 7

Guest room 4

Guest room 4

Charlie & Rose left building elements like concrete columns and soffits raw and untouched, giving the interiors an industrial vibe. Walnut timber cabinetry and millwork add warmth to the interiors, while terrazzo, brass fittings, and pastel ceramic tiles give the bathrooms a touch of glamour. 

Guest room 6

Guest room 6

Guest room 5

Guest room 5

The bathroom in guest room 3

The bathroom in guest room 3

Despite the tight urban site and small floor area, the communal and private spaces within The Nate transport residents out of the bustle of the city, and into a comfortable and inspiring oasis for living, rest, work, and play. 

Guest room 6

Guest room 6

A guest room bathroom.

A guest room bathroom.

The bathroom in guest room 6

The bathroom in guest room 6

The bathroom in guest room 7

The bathroom in guest room 7

Project Credits: 

Interior Design: Charlie & Rose / @charlieandrose

Builder: Goldfield Group

Structural Engineering: Green Engineering Consultant Company Ltd

M&E Engineering: Proconeer EEM. Ltd