Co-living is not new to Hong Kong. But until now its appeal to young professionals has been debatable – think tiny bunk-bedded dormitories and shared bathrooms.
But the latest players on the scene are changing the game and providing Hong Kong with high design solutions that offer privacy as well as the opportunity to build communities.
Weave on Boundary
For founder Sachin Doshi, Weave Co-living came about to meet a need. Everyone was talking about how to attract young talent to cities. Innovation was the buzzword. But no one was talking about how young people would be able to afford to live in those cities, says Sachin. So I thought about a concept that takes value-for-money accommodation that is beautifully designed with a strong sense of community. That’s how Weave Co-living was born.
The company’s first project, Weave on Boundary, debuts in August and is a 160-bedroom property targeting 21 to 35-year-olds. Situated in a quiet corner of Prince Edward, Hong Kong’s geographical centre, it is just minutes from the MTR. It’s a really nice mix between all the urban regeneration and development that’s going on in a lot of the old districts but it still retains that essentially local character, says Sachin. It’s where a lot of creatives want to be.
With private rooms from 100-square-feet, prices at Weave on Boundary start at just HK$6,900 per month, all-inclusive. Bedrooms are ensuite and functionally furnished with plenty of natural light and good storage. Each of the property’s 10 floors features a pantry and communal area and there’s an additional residents-only floor with gym, games area, reading room, lounge, kitchen and rooftop where people can interact. Design Eight Five Two is behind the fresh look and warm feel of the property, with multi-functional furnishings from Hong Kong design brand Ziinlife.
It’s about comfort, convenience and community and bringing people together
Weave on Boundary is a place that feels like home, but it is also designed to be a home that is hassle-free. There is a community manager on board with Four Seasons Hotel pedigree, who brings hospitality-level service, while a proprietary app aids in easy living, allowing residents to log maintenance complaints or to sign up for the various events that Weave intends to host. This is co-living in its purest sense. It’s about comfort, convenience and community and bringing people together where they can live, experience and inspire each other, sums up Sachin.
By contrast, Alex Bent from District 15, is keen to distance The Nate, opening in Tsim Sha Tsui this summer, from the co-living label, though it is, for all intents and purposes, just that, even if it came about to meet a different need.
Back in 2006 boutique developers District 15 opened Kush serviced apartments, and it was essentially the experience of co-founders Alex Bent and Dinesh Nihalchand with this project that led to the concept behind The Nate. We noticed that we had these very nice serviced apartments with beautiful kitchens but no one ever used them, says Bent. We thought about how we could provide people with more value so we went for the communal kitchen concept. We are taking non-essential items out of the rooms to create more value within.
We are taking non-essential items out of the rooms to create more value within
The Nate is set on a quiet stretch of Nathan Road, close to Kowloon Park and a stone’s throw from Jordan MTR. It will be home to 71 one-bedroom apartments with en-suite bathrooms, which range from 90 to 250-square-feet and are aimed at 26 to 45-year-old professionals. Prices start at an all-inclusive monthly rate of HK$13,500.
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Whatever the project – and District 15 works across residential and commercial – high design is ever present. We usually spend that extra dollar on a good designer to make spaces comfortable and workable for tenants. That’s really our DNA, says Bent. At The Nate, the company enlisted Ben McCarthy of design firm Charlie & Rose. He likes colour but at the same time he likes working with raw materials. We liked that approach. And we like working with people who have never worked in a particular space. Ben had never worked in residential – he’s always done restaurants – and I think that’s important because people have a different view.
The Nate’s apartments are bright and comfortable with a modern design aesthetic, and feature high beds with practical storage solutions. There is a stylish communal floor, too, with kitchen, dining and lounge area, retro-chic laundrette and a spacious rooftop.
I think in all our developments we like to build communities. We are going to have events there – there will be talks, but we are not trying to force co-living on people. I think some people actually just want to go home – they want privacy, says Bent. It’s about letting people decide what they want their home to be. With varying co-living options now available to pick from, increasingly there is that choice.
Other co-living spaces to consider
Mojo Nomad Aberdeen Harbour is co-living offered by Ovolo Group. Tim Alpe, Chief Operating Officer at Ovolo Hotels describes it as a community for global nomads who seek a new way of living and collaborating as a community, who appreciate the experience of sharing the local lifestyle and value openness and collaboration. The property is thoughtfully designed by KplusK, featuring art curated by local organisation HK Walls, and its main offering is shared rooms alongside ample communal space.
Co-working space operator Campfire is extending its offering into co-living with Campfire Home, launching an 80-bedroom property, each private room featuring single or double bed, desk and en-suite bathroom, alongside communal living zones. Located in Sham Shui Po and launching in late 2018, rates start at HK$9,000 per month with a three-month minimum stay. Residents receive complimentary access to all Campfire co-working locations.
This story was originally published in our July 2018 issue as ‘Better Together.’ For more inspiring interiors, pick up a print or digital copy, on newsstands now.
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