Story by Trends Publishing, 21 Jun 2011, 08:00:00
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Tiered apartment buildings and lush terraced landscaping maximise privacy, views and a tight building site in this new Singapore development
From the interior fit-outs to the landscaping and common facilities, modern high-end residential developments are all about lifestyle.
Chong Hock Chang of Ho Bee Investment Ltd, the developer of the new Orange Grove Residences in Singapore, says the move towards resort-style living reflects a changing market demographic.
"Invariably, clients today are well travelled, and they appreciate good architecture that evokes an emotional response," he says. "They are not just buying bricks and mortar, but a whole lifestyle experience. New developments need to be designed to meet these expectations."
Chong Hock Chang says location and a degree of exclusivity are key considerations. The Orange Grove Residences tick both these boxes, being in the heart of Singapore's premier residential district and providing a particularly high standard of specification in each of the 60 apartments.
A modern architectural language was called for in the brief, say architects Gieto Sugianto and Ingrid Araneta from Architects 61.
"The unusually shaped site has a considerable slope from one side to the other," says Sugianto. "We consequently chose to terrace the apartment blocks and provide space in between the buildings. This not only brings a residential scale to the project, but also maximises views and privacy for each apartment."
Sugianto says the Orange Grove Residences were restricted to five storeys plus an attic level. Being low-rise, the buildings sit comfortably next to a neighbourhood of detached bungalows.
The architects say the original design brief proposed an entry from a different street, but this was moved to Orange Grove Road.
"By doing this, we were able to provide amenities below street level, so they are more private," Araneta says. "We have also provided a green wall and a water feature to help diffuse the road noise. The wall creates a sound buffer and is an attractive backdrop to the pool area."
Araneta says the separate apartment buildings are tiered down the sloping site, which helps maintain privacy. The main windows and doors on each apartment are also oriented towards the pool and the clubhouse, rather than to the neighbouring properties.
To further enhance the resort feel of the development, the design team created a separate wing for the master suites, which are reached via a glazed bridge element.
"These suites are at the rear of the apartments, so they are some distance from the more public spaces," says Araneta. "This separation reinforces the sense of retreat. The suites are literally a place to escape for some quiet time. The resort feel is enhanced by integrated bathrooms that create an easy flow between the rooms."
Each apartment occupies half the floor of one block, but the penthouse apartments feature an attic floor with ceilings that follow the curved roof.
The penthouse interior shown on these pages was designed by Cameron Woo of Cameron Woo Design.
"In light of the jet-setting lifestyle of the target market, which covers the greater South Asia region, we had a Bollywood actor in mind when we designed the interior," Woo says. "For this reason, also, we opted for glamorous touches that are evident right from the moment you step into the private lift lobby, which is like a jewelled box."
Woo created one large great room, rather than a collection of smaller rooms. The main seating area is defined by a custom-designed rug in subtle tones, and by piano-shaped sofas inspired by 1930s Hollywood stars.
"The two brass-framed chairs were influenced by furniture in an old auction catalogue. But while they are based on a vintage design, they have a strong modernity," says the designer. "The dining furniture also has a bold silhouette; much like couture fashion, it is defined by its form."
Flexibility has also been taken into account. The dining table can be moved beside the banquette seating, making room for a games table.
"This interior was designed for entertaining, both simple and grand," says Woo.
|Architect||Gieto Sugianto, Ingrid Araneta, Monnica Manalo, Architects 61 (Singapore)|
|Interior designer||Cameron Woo, Cameron Woo Design (Asia)|
|Civil engineer||SCE Consultants|
|Mechanical and electrical engineer||Mott MacDonald Singapore|
|Quantity surveyor||Davis Langdon & Seah Singapore|
|Construction company||Wee Hur Construction|
|Blinds and drapes supplier||Blanche Bay|
|Drapery fabric||Feu d'Artifices by Jim Thompson|
|Upholstery fabric||Terrace by Atmosphere|
|Living and dining room flooring||Marble|
|Bed linen||Lane Crawford Story by Colleen Hawkes Exterior photography by Tim Nolan. Interior photography by Masano Kawana|