The ‘D’ in this context denotes “Ding’, in Chinese the male descendants. A ‘Ding’ house is a type of dwelling unique to Hong Kong, granted exclusively to indigenous families of the traditional New Territories’ villages. Any male descendant has the right to build a house in his own village, subject to strict planning guidelines that restrict the area of a single floor to 70 square metres and the overall height to a maximum of three storeys or 8.75 metres.
The aim here was to create a home that would reflect the lifestyle of a modern young family – with its contrasting needs for openness and privacy – in the compact space of a Ding house. The planning of the house draws its influences, in part, from Le Corbusiers’s 1928 Villa Baizeau, by arranging the main communal spaces one over the other to create a ‘Vertical Living Space’. The stairs, the primary place of movement and connection, are deliberately situated at the centre of the main living areas, rising the full height of the building to form the heart of the house. Outside, the facades express the internal planning, looping around the building in the form of a single composition, with small ‘punched’ windows indicating private rooms and expansive full-height glazing the communal areas.