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photo of Hong Kong Villa

Hong Kong Villa

Shek-O, China

Hong Kong Villa

Shek-O, China

  • Design Principal

    Jim Olson

Set on a rocky hillside overlooking the South China Sea in Shek-O, a historic fishing village in the southeast corner of Hong Kong Island, this house is designed to face the elements and bring in the stunning views of the coastal scenery. Seamless transitions from inside to outside merge the house into its landscape, while broad overhangs provide protection from the tropical sun and driving rains.

On the uphill side of the house, the formal entry is accessed via a large central courtyard with a reflecting pool. Flanking that dramatic central entry space are the more intimate portions of the house—the living and dining areas—with private quarters book-ending the single-level plan. A second pool runs along the ocean side of the house, visually merging with the water and island-studded coastline in the distance. An island in the South China Sea is framed, just off center, as the culmination of a sequential series of experiences.

Inspired by traditional Chinese architecture and furniture, the house uses a simple palette of materials—concrete, steel, wood, limestone and glass—relying on exacting detail and craftsmanship to provide the visual counterpoint.

Always, the emphasis is on nature as the focus of the architecture and the subject of art. Outside, the gardens, the broad overhangs, the use of stone and the complete integration of landscape and architecture spring from ancient Chinese traditions. Jim Olson, FAIA

Team

Awards

2009

International Interior Design Association Northern Pacific Chapter INawards, Best in Competition: Home

Publications

2012

Browne, Beth. Masterpiece: Iconic Houses by Great Contemporary Architects. Victoria: Images Publishing, Oct. 2012. Book.

“Where Old Meets New.” International Architecture & Design (IAD), Spring 2012, cover, 54-61, 112-113. Print.

2010

21st Century Houses: 150 of the World’s Best. Victoria: Images Publishing, April 2010, 166-169. Book.

Bennett, Sam. “Local team helps build Hong Kong mansion.” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, 28 Jan. 2010. Print. Web. 

“Jim Olson discusses Hong Kong mansion.” Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, 15 Sept. 2010, 3. Print. Web.

Schmid, Lydia. “Leben mit Kunst.” ELLE Decoration Germany, Oct. 2010, cover, 108-115. Print.