Rematerializing: From Abandoned Materials to Upscaled Salon

DesignerLikhang Gu, Dennis Cheung
Entry Description

A renovation was completed for the reception area of a salon, using abandoned teak wood flooring panels removed from vacated buildings. The aim of using re-cycled materials was to prolong the life-cycle of construction materials. The design process began by reinterpreting the recovered wood panels as unseen objects to be acquainted with. By analyzing their physical properties, several operations were developed for the utilization of the panels in relation to the overall aesthetics and functional requirements of the renovation. Inspired by the geometrical properties of tongues and grooves found in parquet flooring, operations were developed for inventive reuse. First, the flooring panels were interlocked to create doors for lockers with the bottom grooves used as troughs for sliding tracks. Such atypically layered sliding doors also save space at the narrow entrance when used. Secondly, the slots found on the underside were used for embedding other materials as fins for reducing the opacity of the screens when arranged in an angle, or exposed naturally with nail holes so as to enrich the texture of the surface. The aim of using re-cycled materials was to prolong the life-cycle of construction materials. It is often neglected by both the industry and the clients in the constantly changing materialistic world of consumption. The idea was to reinterpret found flooring panels its unique geometric properties and physical characters in order to generate the tectonic language of the project from the object level. In cities of consumerism like Hong Kong, interiors are required to be refreshed and updated for keeping customers and level of competitiveness. However, very few clients or even designers consider reusing materials. Perhaps we could start advocating the client and the public about the importance of sustainable design from this tiny project.

About Designer

Born in Hong Kong, Dennis Cheung received his undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Hong Kong in 2009. He is currently working in Tokyo and will continue his master studies in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Fall2010.