A sophisticated and peaceful oasis in Macau’s city centre, designed for family living and a reader’s paradise
Macau Closer was fortunate to be invited to visit a lovely apartment – 2,600 square feet, designed and decorated for the most part by it’s owner into a unique and stylish home in the heart of the city.
Situated on Avenida da Amizade, the main artery road running from the Macau ferry terminal to the roundabout in front of Wynn/the Lisboa, which once a year is transformed into part of the Macau Grand Prix race track. For those of us who remember Macau of 20 years ago, pre-NAPE, when the ‘old Mandarin’, now Grand Lapa, stood on the waterfront, Avenida da Amizade was the ‘Cotai’ of its day, lined with hotels, restaurants, and other major landmarks.
Today, the apartment in this historic avenue is in walking distance from the StarWorld, the Royal Arc, Wynn Macau, and MGM, and office buildings that there are now.
These days, sitting as it does on the second floor of the building, from its large picture windows the apartment has an abundance of light with a bright and sunny outlook on to the Avenue’s centre tree line. And it seems that the low floor together with the double glazed windows aids in the apartment’s sound proofing; visitors gain a distinct ‘zen-like’ sense of peace and tranquility and are surprised by how quiet it is given the very down-town location.
The property is made up of 4 double bedrooms, 2 with ensuite bathrooms, and one guest bathroom, and a very good sized kitchen with walk-in storeroom. “Originally we had 3 bedrooms. And the living and dining room was a long space that ran from the front of the apartment to the back”, explains the. As this was felt to be wasted space and out of scale with the rest of the layout of rooms the decision was made to add a fourth bedroom towards the back. A floor to ceiling bookcase along the dividing wall between the new room and the dining room accommodates some of the family’s ever increasing library of books. “It is a house of people who read a lot, hence the bookshelf forms a center piece” to the home, he smiles. The new room currently serves as his studio.
In the living room, to the left of the windows, are 3 white sculptures the top one, a woman by top Portuguese sculptor João Cutileiro, then a Song Dynasty lady and a young revolutionary face in plaster from the 1960s, sitting atop tall white display stands. White Roman blinds, white walls, and hanging, several black and white photographs, set in expansive white mountings and thin black frames, add to the peacefulness and quietness of the home and underline the refined tastes of the decorator.
The stark whiteness of the room is warmed with the soft glow of teak wood parquet flooring, laid throughout the main living and sleeping areas. The coziness of two sink-in grey sofas and a Chinese-style bow-legged coffee table is contrasted with the modern look of steel framed Marcel Breuer’s Bauhaus leather armchairs. A Tibetan pale pink rug, lightly patterned in grey, lies underfoot. The glass-topped dining table is teamed with Chinese-style wood chairs.
Most of the furniture has been designed by the owner – the entrance hall table and low cabinetry in the living room is of beech wood, a blend of European-Chinese elegance; modern, simple lines, practical and functional.
Thoughtfully laid out and designed with plentiful storage, the immaculately tidy kitchen is a spacious and inviting area with lots of light flooding in from the windows running the length of the space. The colour palate is muted; taupe wall tiles, pale grey floor tiles and cabinetry, grey-flecked counter-tops and stainless steel appliances.
Since it was built 35 years ago, this apartment have seen a great deal of Macau’s recent history unfolding in front of them. From the return of Macau to China in 1999, the liberalization of the gaming industry to include foreign investors, to expansive land reclamation projects and the Historic Centre of Macao achieving UNESCO’s World Heritage recognition. And of course 35 years of Grand Prix hopefuls racing past!
Compared with much of the flimsy new-builds of today, the building’s construction is sound and solid and no doubt the building will continue to keep a watchful eye over life along the Avenida da Amizade in the years to come.
Photographs by A.C. J.