AWARDS: Eco Sanctuary — inspired by nature

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October 30, 2017 8:00 AM SGT
Source: S P Setia International
At Eco Sanctuary, residents can take in a nearly 270º view of the nearby parks and nature reserve at two viewing decks called The Belvederes
S P Setia’s Eco Sanctuary clinched the Development Innovation Award at the inaugural Edge- Prop Singapore Excellence Awards 2017. Khor Chap Jen, CEO of S P Setia, attended the gala dinner at Pan Pacific Singapore on Oct 23 and received the award on behalf of Eco Sanctuary. “S P Setia always strives to be ahead of market competitors in terms of design and technology used in our homes,” he says. “In all our developments, we endeavour to use the latest technology and construction methods to ensure the best-quality home for all our Setia homeowners.”
Completed in 2016, the 483-unit Eco Sanctuary is fully sold. It is S P Setia’s second residential development in Singapore. Its maiden development was the 101-unit 18 Woodsville located off Upper Serangoon Road, which was completed in July 2015 and is also fully sold.
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When S P Setia won the Eco Sanctuary site on Chestnut Avenue in a government land tender in November 2011, it undertook an in-depth biodiversity study of the site and the surroundings so that the new development would have as little impact on the environment as possible.
Of butterflies, birds and honeycombs
The developer engaged leading Singapore architectural firm ADDP Architects to come up with a nature-inspired, green and sustainable design for the project. ADDP used butterflies, bird’s nests and honeycombs as motifs for the design.
The primary motif was the butterfly, as it symbolises “the beauty and delicacy of nature”, according to ADDP. This extends to the pathway leading to the Butterfly Gate — with its intricate filigree butterfly design — that opens out to Cheng Hua Garden, Zhenghua Park and Chestnut Nature Park.
The three 24-storey towers in the development have a hexagonal honeycomb façade. Apart from being a design feature, the façade serves a dual purpose: for sun-shading and as a “wind catcher” to maximise ventilation along the common corridors. Combined with the north-south orientation of the towers, the design of the buildings reduces heat gain and optimises wind flow.
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For visitors, the wow factor of Eco Sanctuary is “The Belvederes” — cantilevered viewing decks located on both ends of the development and accessible from the 14th level. One of the viewing decks offers a 270º view of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve — Singapore’s biggest nature reserve — and the city skyline beyond. The other viewing deck offers a picturesque view of the Chestnut Avenue Good Class Bungalow neighbourhood.
“The inspiration for The Belvederes’ design is the bird’s nest,” says Raymond Yap, senior principal architect at ADDP. “The views are stunning, and there is constant wind flow.”
According to Raymond Yap of ADDP Architects, the inspiration for The Belvederes’ design is the bird’s nest
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Source: S P Setia International
In line with Eco Sanctuary’s ecology-inspired design concept, butterflies, birds and the honeycomb inspire spaces in the project
Attention to detail
A bridge called “The Sky Walk” links two of the three towers on the 14th level, which is where the sky terraces are located. On the 14th level of each tower is a Sky Club, which has an open-air dining pavilion, relaxation spa nooks and lush landscaping for residents to enjoy.
As the three high-rise residential towers occupy a footprint of just 14% of the 201,287 sq ft land area, there is ample space for landscaping and facilities. The central feature at Eco Sanctuary is the Island Club, with its dome-shaped chrysalis design. It houses recreational facilities such as the indoor dining pavilion. The outdoor entertainment area near the swimming pool is ideal for family gatherings and functions. During the day, the club’s glazed panels allow natural light in and enable those inside to enjoy all-round views of the surroundings. In the evenings, the club has a sophisticated ambience with its recessed floor and coffered ceiling lighting.
S P Setia has not only paid attention to the project’s exteriors but also to the apartments’ interiors. Every unit was designed to maximise natural light and cross-air flow. This is achieved through the building orientation (north-south), ample windows and high ceiling heights (3.6m for typical units, 4.5m for units on the ground level and 5m for penthouses).
All apartments have marble or granite flooring in the living and dining area and timber flooring in the bedrooms. The kitchens are equipped with Bosch appliances, including refrigerators and washing machines. All the apartments are fitted with energy- and water-efficient appliances and fittings.
Green features
The landscape architect for Eco Sanctuary was COEN Design International. S P Setia wanted a design that will be as close to nature as possible to encourage biodiversity. Even bird feeders and bird houses were incorporated into the landscape design. Extensive water features from swimming pools and bio-ponds help keep the development cool in the day.
Other green features in Eco Sanctuary include rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation for the greenery and wide-range motion sensors. S P Setia opted for pre-cast construction to minimise pollution on site and wastage of materials and to reduce energy consumption.
All these factors contributed to Eco Sanctuary’s obtaining the highest accolade under the Building and Construction Authority’s Green Mark certification for sustainable built environment, namely the Platinum Award. Eco Sanctuary also picked up the Sustainable Development Award at Fiabci Singapore’s Property Awards 2017.
Eco Sanctuary’s latest award is for Development Innovation at the EdgeProp Singapore Excellence Awards. For Lai Huen Poh, one of the judges for the awards, Eco Sanctuary left a lasting impression. “Eco Sanctuary is not only innovative, but quality-wise, it is impressive,” he notes. Lai is managing director of RSP Architects Planners & Engineers and executive director of Rowsley Ltd. “It remains one of the projects that stand out in my mind for its organic design.”
Another project in the pipeline for launch
The 43-year-old S P Setia is one of Malaysia’s leading listed real estate players, with a market capitalisation of over RM10 billion ($3.2 billion). Last year, S P Setia was ranked No. 1 at The Edge Malaysia Top Property Developers Awards for the ninth time, the only developer to have achieved this feat since the inception of the awards 15 years ago.
As at end-June 2017, S P Setia had 31 ongoing projects with a gross development value of RM80 billion and total unbilled sales of RM8 billion, and a landbank of 5,432 acres.
In April this year, S P Setia won the tender for a 1.87ha site on Toh Tuck Road. The Malaysian group bid $265 million, or $939 psf per plot ratio. S P Setia says it plans to build a 327-unit, five-storey condominium with a total gross floor area of 282,100 sq ft on the site. It plans to launch the project next year.
The new condo, which is within walking distance of the Beauty World MRT station, is also close to the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and Bukit Batok Nature Park. Once again, ADDP Architects will be the design architect for S P Setia’s upcoming project on Toh Tuck Road.
“We believe in the Singapore market and will continue to look out for more projects and further strengthen S P Setia’s presence here,” says CEO Khor.
The wide porch at the entrance to Eco Sanctuary, with the lush greenery of Zhenghua Park in the background
The three towers at Eco Sanctuary have a north-south orientation and are tilted to maximise wind flow
Source: S P Setia International
Eco Sanctuary’s building coverage takes up a mere 14% of the development’s land area; the remainder is used for landscaping and facilities
This article appeared in EdgeProp Pullout, Issue 803 (Oct 30, 2017).