5 New, Architecturally Distinctive Condos

By Aaron De Silva / EdgeProp | September 16, 2017 10:00 AM SGT
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Thanks to the progressive mindset of the Government and private real estate developers, Singapore has become a choice playground for some of the world’s best-known architects. These so-called “starchitects” have stamped their mark on everything from commercial and institutional to industrial and residential buildings. But nowhere is their work more appreciated than in residential properties, simply because buyers can purchase and own said work. If you have an interest in architecture or history, or love the prestige that comes with ownership of a designer property, here are five new or up-and-coming condos to consider checking out.
DUO Residences
The twin towers of DUO Residences have redefined the Bugis skyline, thanks to their dramatic curves and unique honeycomb facade. At night, this net-like hexagonal pattern is lit by LEDs, giving the buildings a futuristic appearance.
Residences occupy the 50-storey tower, while its 39-storey counterpart houses offices and the Andaz hotel. Set to be fully operational by October, the mixed-use project is designed by the firm Büro Ole Scheeren. Its founder is German-born architect Ole Scheeren, whose portfolio includes The Interlace in Singapore and MahaNakhon in Bangkok. Scheeren is renowned for projects that integrate the surroundings. In DUO Residences, features like a public plaza carved in-between the towers create that sense of connectivity.
Developed by M+S (a joint venture between Malaysia’s Khazanah Nasional and Singapore’s Temasek Holdings), the 99-year property has units ranging in size from 420 sq. ft. to 4,392 sq. ft. Listings on EdgeProp.sg indicate an average price of $2,200 psf.
The Orchard Road belt has no shortage of architectural icons. But when Ferra is fully completed in 2018, it will undoubtedly make a statement of its own. This is thanks to Pininfarina, the powerhouse Italian design team behind the Leonie Hill condo’s exterior and interior architecture. Supercar enthusiasts might recognise the name: Pininfarina was responsible for designing every Ferrari road car from the 1950s until 2013.
You can see distinctive automotive design elements in the 22-storey building, from the bold use of colour (black and red) to the strong lines of the facade, which convey a sense of speed and power. The sky terraces on the 14th storey sport a shape reminiscent of a grille. Even the apartment interiors are characterised by strong, dynamic shapes and the use of leathers and woods.
The 104-unit tower is developed by Far East Organisation and has a 103-year tenure.
Martin Modern
The two residential towers that make up Martin Modern aren’t the project’s only impressive feature. Sure, the towers are topped by a roof garden structure that looks organic, as if made of mud bricks. But what’s also striking is the development’s elaborate landscaping.
Martin Modern sits on a plot 171,535 sq. ft. in size – about three soccer fields – amid the densely built-up River Valley neighbourhood. This vast estate (for such a central location) allowed the landscape consultants to create 15 different settings. From an Aquatic Pond to a Forest Trail, a Rain Garden to a Bamboo Grove, the idea was to give residents the sense that they live in a botanical garden, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. The timeless, serene architecture proposed by Yip Yuen Hong, principal of ip:li Architects, blends well into this lush green backdrop.
Developed by GuocoLand, Martin Modern is scheduled for completion in 2021. The 450 units available in this 99-year estate range from 764 sq. ft. to 1,798 sq. ft. Current listings on EdgeProp.sg indicate an average price of $2,269 psf.
Sophia Hills
Besides being the largest development on Mount Sophia once completed in 2018, Sophia Hills is also noted for its cultural sensitivity, thanks to the efforts of project architects Consortium 168 and conservation specialists Studio Lapis.
Three conservation buildings sit on the premises. The oldest of these, built in 1928, used to be part of Methodist Girls’ School. Then there’s the former Nan Hwa Girls’ School, housed in a three-storey Art Deco-style building dating to 1941. Last but not least is the Trinity Theological College Chapel circa 1969, which boasts a striking roof form that curves upwards dramatically. The architects restored the buildings and repurposed them as a clubhouse, childcare centre and restaurant, respectively. To ensure that the new residential buildings do not compete for attention, they have been designed with simple forms, allowing the historical elements to shine through.
Developed by a joint venture between Hoi Hup Realty and Sunway Developments, the 99-year property houses 493 residences. Current listings on EdgeProp.sg indicate an average price of $1,954 psf.
Wallich Residence
Guocoland’s Wallich Residence at Tanjong Pagar Centre has yet to welcome its first inhabitants (expected TOP: end-2017). But the project has already earned a few superlatives. Not only is it Singapore’s tallest residential development; but at 290m, Tanjong Pagar Centre also has the distinction of being Singapore’s tallest building, outclassing One Raffles Place (Tower 1), Republic Plaza and UOB Plaza One by 10m.
Recently, the property’s super penthouse – a 21,108 sq. ft. triplex – also hogged headlines with its $108 million asking price, which, if realised, will make it the first apartment in Singapore to cross the $100 million-mark. The gleaming glass and steel structure is the brainchild of American architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). Renowned for their modern “glass box” skyscrapers, SOM is responsible for many of the world’s tallest buildings. The list includes Dubai’s Burj Khalifa as well as Chicago’s Willis Tower (formerly: Sears Tower) and the John Hancock Center.
The 181 luxury apartments in Wallich Residence span the 39th to 64th storeys, with the super penthouse taking up the top three levels. Current listings on EdgeProp.sg show the average psf to be $3,378, with one-bedders costing $1.8 million and up.

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