Holland Park bungalow with biophilic-inspired design on sale for $26 mil

By Timothy Tay and Hailey Yu / EdgeProp Singapore | July 15, 2022 11:15 AM SGT
The facade of the Holland Park bungalow is inspired by a Rubik’s cube, with natural stones contrasting glass panes. (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - An award-winning two-storey bungalow in the Holland Park Good Class Bungalow (GCB) area is on the market for $26 million. The seven-bedroom bungalow sits on a 7,638 sq ft plot and has a built-up area of about 13,000 sq ft.
The freehold property is marketed by List Sotheby’s International Realty and the asking price translates to $3,404 psf on land area.
Designed by Chang Yong Ter, the principal architect of local architecture firm Chang Architects, the bungalow won the Muse Design Gold Award in 2020 for best architectural design of a residential project. Chang and his architecture firm were also recognised with the President’s Design Award in 2008 and 2013, as well as other international design awards.
During its development, the project was aptly named The Sanctuary. It was conceived as a hidden green oasis within the exclusive GCB neighbourhood. The bungalow was completed in December 2016.
An indoor koi pond extends along the centre of the house on the first floor. (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
A standout feature of the bungalow is its façade, which mimics the structure of a giant Rubik’s cube and comprises natural stone cuboids in grey and brown tones that are fitted together irregularly. The large glass panes that run along the middle of the exterior allow natural light to fill the interior. The smoothness of the glass also contrasts with the roughness of the stones in an interesting visual interplay.

Biophilic philosophy

The design of the bungalow reflects the ethos of biophilic design, which incorporates nature and natural elements into the built environment and interiors. For example, a 9m green wall was constructed on both sides of the house to improve privacy and reduce road noises. It comprises creepers and other types of climbing plants on a vertical mesh wall. The feature is fully self-sustainable with catchment areas on the roof terrace to harvest rainwater and an automatic irrigation system.
Other biophilic-inspired elements include an indoor koi pond on the first floor that runs along almost the entire length of the house. The glass panes on the exterior turn into a skylight over the central atrium of the house and let in ample daylight into the expansive living area and lush indoor garden.
The koi pond and indoor garden function as a wide and open focal point of the house. (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
The layout of the house separates the communal areas like the living room on the first floor, from the private living areas like the seven en suite bedrooms with private balconies on the second floor. Thus, the living and dining areas are adjacent to the pond which creates a large uninterrupted social space for gatherings while the kitchen and al fresco dining areas are found near the back of the house. An outdoor 22m lap pool and a jacuzzi are also be located along one side of the house.
The koi pond and indoor garden function as a wide and open focal point of the house while cooling the environment naturally.
The bungalow also features a roof terrace with a garden and basement with three attached meeting rooms. The house could be accessed through a lift or two separate flights of stairways.
The roof terrace spans a generous 2,500 sq ft with ample space for a garden. (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
The roof terrace spans 2,500 sq ft and is used by the present owners to plant herbs and fruit trees like papayas and bananas. The rainwater harvesting and automatic irrigation system are in place here too. Solar panels line the top of a walkway to provide shade and as a space-saving feature.

WFH and EV ready

Due to the gradient of the site, the basement of the bungalow is at the entry level. The transparent bottom of the pond on the first floor illuminates the basement in shimmering light during the day. On a typical day, this is bright enough that electric lights are not needed.
The basement carpark has space for at least eight cars with two electric car charging stations. The basement also comes with three offices including one large meeting room where the current owner conducts business meetings.
According to Steve Tay, senior associate vice-president at List Sotheby’s International Realty, discerning buyers will be attracted by the bungalow’s spacious living areas and forward-thinking biophilic design concept.
The basement is illuminated during the day from the transparent bottom of the koi pond, and the basement also features three offices. (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Other factors that will attract potential buyers include how the built-up area of the bungalow has been fully utilised and is in relatively good move-in condition, he adds.
The property has been on the market since June 20 when List Sotheby’s was appointed the sole marketing agent. Most of the landed houses in the Holland Park GCB Area are classified as GCBs with a minimum plot size of at least 15,000 sq ft. However, the bungalow that Tay is marketing sits on a 7,638 sq ft plot.
“This property offers potential buyers the convenience of moving into the new home in a short timeframe, without going through the hassle that comes with constructing a house like this from the ground up,” says Tay.
He adds that with the rising cost of construction materials and supply shortfalls over the past few months, building a similar bungalow of the same design could take as long as four years.

GCB supply and



“We estimate that before the Covid-19 pandemic, the average construction cost for a bungalow of this size would be about $500 psf. But [under the present market conditions], a similar build could cost an owner at least $1,000 psf in construction costs,” says Tay.
The house features many biophilic design elements such as this 9m green wall which has an automatic irrigation system. (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
He says that over the past few months, the price expectations of GCB sellers have increased and there is a mismatch in the demand and supply of well-built, modern and ready-to-move-in GCBs on the market.
However, there is still a strong pool of buyers on the hunt for GCBs priced under $60 million although many of the buyers are looking for homes that require only minor renovations that allow them to move in quickly, says Tay. “Most of the GCBs [currently] for sale either require major renovations or a total reconstruction.”
The new owner will likely be someone who appreciates the design concept of the bungalow, as well as the various biophilic and energy-saving features of the house, such as the rainwater harvester, solar panels and charging stations.
The seven en suite bedrooms are on the second floor for more privacy. (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
“Over the past few years, we have seen a lot more younger buyers stepping up to purchase bungalows in Singapore and I won’t be surprised if the new owner of this house is a successful entrepreneur in his 30s,” says Tay.
He adds that buyers of this profile will appreciate the segregated working, living and entertainment areas designed into the bungalow. Its “relatively palatable” price is also an opportunity for them to acquire a prime landed home in Singapore, he says.
Check out the latest listings near Holland Park

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