Mid-Levels, Hong Kong


2,000 SF Residential apartment


“Molding, or moulding (Commonwealth), also known as coving (UK, Australia), is a strip of material with various profiles used to cover transitions between surfaces or for decoration……At their simplest, moldings are a means of applying light- and dark-shaded stripes to a structural objects without having to change the material or apply pigments. The contrast of dark and light areas gives definition to the object.”
Molding (decorative).” Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 1 February 2016. Web. Retrieved 8 April 2016. As an element that is deeply associated with historical architecture, molding has not been part of the modern and contemporary design vocabulary, yet the description above is concerned with spatial and material readings that are contemporary and timeless. The client of this project first approached us with traditional images of molding, and once we were able to leave behind our biases, we were able to see the potential in molding as a strategy to manipulate the reading of the surface.
A series of six custom molding profiles were designed for this project. Using digital fabrication techniques, we were able to not only extrude these profiles, but also to stretch them three dimensionally. This allows the molding to delaminate from the wall, transforming from a line to a surface. The custom profiles aggregate to form zones of maximum intensity around areas of circulation, such as the hallway and the main entry.
Using solid wood for the molding, the surfaces are further animated by the natural grain of the wood, where its coloration and texture shift as one moves through the space. As such, the molding exceeded both our client’s expectation and our biases, proving that molding is not all about style, but also about substance.