Shopping For A Chic Pied A Terre In Singapore

Shopping For A Chic Pied A Terre In Singapore

An article in​ the​ International Herald Tribune talks about the​ variety of​ ‘modern luxury condos’ that have been developed in​ Singapore. Whilst good workmanship and​ quality of​ materials have been cited as​ factors that make Singapore’s condominiums desirable and​ have allowed its property market to​ be categorized as​ aspirational , the​ rush to​ tap into the​ renewed interest in​ private properties and​ the​ craze for​ ‘modern’ design has spawned varying interpretations of​ modern, contemporary architecture.

Following the​ early entries into modern development projects(The Loft on Nassim, Paterson Edge) came a​ slew of​ less distinguished developments. the​ progenitor of​ luxury living and​ sophisticated, boutique developments, SCGlobal has added BLVD to​ its luxurious troika of​ urbane, uptown developments.

Even more mainstream developers, more known for​ generic housing projects have incorporated more edgy design elements to​ stand out from the​ rest of​ the​ developments. the​ efforts seem to​ have paid out- Far east Organization’s ‘Icon’ sold out in​ an​ otherwise dreary property market. Located close to​ the​ CBD area and​ next to​ an​ MRT station, these loft apartments which afforded buyers a​ more customized, tailor made package by allowing buyers to​ choose from a​ different combination of​ finishes, this development made headlines when the​ better units were bought and​ ‘flipped’- reminiscent of​ the​ pre-1996 property boom years. the​ Central at​ SOHO similarly employs a​ more experimental approach towards showflat design and​ marketing- spiral staircases connected by strings of​ thick rope and​ a​ showflat that opens beyond 10pm on weekend nights.

Whilst there are projects that continue to​ try to​ distinguish itself by employing radical design ideas(a la the​ all glass façade of​ Edge at​ Cairnhill, Moshe Safdie’s latest development in​ Singapore), there are many more that simply adopt vague interpretations of​ modern, resulting in​ modern developments of​ the​ most contemptible exteriors, undistinguished in​ its sterilized homogeneity.

Older, modern developments

Developments distinguished by interesting architecture are by no means a​ recent phenomenon in​ Singapore. Some of​ the​ more interesting developments include Paul Rudolph’s Colonnade on Grange Road, Moshe Safdie’s Habitat I and​ II and​ the​ Futura apartments on Leonie Hill. Moshe Safdie’s Habitat apartments on Ardmore Park- Habitat I and​ Habitat II have had different fates- the​ Habitat I project, with larger units of​ 3300sqft and​ above, have benefited from a​ recent makeover by Eco-Id architects, resulting in​ a​ concierge desk of​ lit, opalescent faux mother of​ pearl that speaks luxury. the​ entrance to​ the​ pool area is​ a​ wide swivel door made of​ glass with wooden handles and​ the​ previously depressingly aged pool has taken on modern, streamlined proportions with a​ parallel slab of​ concrete running through its side for​ architectural impact. the​ result is​ a​ rejuvenated development that is​ more in​ synch with the​ times and​ keeps up with the​ avant garde character of​ the​ building. Its sister development Habitat II, maisonettes of​ 2500sqft is​ sadly up for​ en-bloc re-development. Paul Rudolph’s Colonnade has similarly had its ground refurbished by Kerry Hill architects and​ remain a​ favourite for​ the​ expatriate crowd looking to​ rent spacious apartments in​ a​ good location.

Size and​ modernity

Going by the​ recent offerings of​ ‘modern’ developments, a​ good square footage of​ 2000sqft and​ above does not seem to​ co-exist with modern design elements without an​ associated price tag. Most modern developments- the​ result of​ enbloc sales and​ consequent subdivision have yielded paltry square footages of​ 850sqft for​ a​ studio apartment to​ 1100sqft for​ a​ 3 bedroom. Top end luxury developments such as​ the​ Grange Residences and​ BLVD, with a​ square footage of​ 2030sqft and​ up, come with price tags of​ $4m and​ above.

Savvy home buyers, keen on spacious apartments without the​ associated price tags have sought out older developments- with run down facilities and​ common grounds no doubt, but with views of​ greenery not afforded by the​ newer developments. the​ result is​ often a​ home with finishes to​ rival, if​ not trump- the​ best developments in​ the​ market. Renovated apartments in​ these older developments have attracted a​ new niche market- home buyers frustrated by their need for​ larger space and​ modern design elements.
A new trend, but a​ significant one nonetheless, judging from the​ sales of​ such apartments recently and​ certainly bids well for​ the​ design scene on the​ property market in​ Singapore.

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