Mixed-use development 1953’s vintage appeal

By Amy Tan / EdgeProp Singapore | October 25, 2019 9:30 AM SGT
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Located at the junction of Balestier and Tessensohn Roads, 1953, a mixed-use development by Oxley Holdings, is set to be an iconic landmark when it is completed in 2023. Comprising 58 apartments and 14 strata commercial units, 1953 combines old-world charm with modern design sensibilities.
1953 - Oxley Holdings' 1953 is set to be an iconic landmark (Pictures: Oxley Holdings)
Oxley Holdings' 1953 is set to be an iconic landmark (Pictures: Oxley Holdings)
Seven of the project’s retail shops and nine residential units will be housed in a row of conservation shophouses, while the rest of the units are part of a new six-storey development. The former will be painted white and feature an art deco façade while the latter will be dressed in a dark colour palette, contrasting the modern buildings with those steeped in history. Ecoplan, the landscape architect for the project, also made a horticultural selection that accentuates 1953’s colour palette.
1953 - living area of a three-bedroom apartment
The living area of a three-bedroom apartment
For this, 1953 swept the following awards at the EdgeProp Singapore Excellence Awards 2019:
  • Design Excellence, Residential (Uncompleted), Central
  • Innovation Excellence, Residential (Uncompleted), Central
  • Top Showflat, Interior Designer Excellence Award, Residential (Uncompleted), Central
  • Top Development, Residential (Uncompleted), Central
  • Top Boutique Development, Residential (Uncompleted)
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1953 bedroom en suite
The en suite bedroom in a three-bedroom apartment
The architect behind 1953 is Park+Associates. The design of the project takes its cue from Queen’s 1975 song, “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Like the song, Park+Associates envisioned the design of 1953 in three parts: ballad, operatic overture and hard rock.
“The art deco façade serves as the operatic overture, juxtaposing the conserved historic shophouses (the ballad) and the modern new extension block (hard rock end of Bohemian Rhapsody),” explains Oxley.

Study in contrast

From the exterior, this design narrative continues in each unit with its contemporary and linear design. To emphasise the shophouse charm, materials such as green subway tiles are used in the bathroom. A capsule-shaped vanity mirror reminiscent of the 50s serves as functional storage.
1953 bathroom - Materials such as green subway tiles are used in the bathroom
Materials such as green subway tiles are used in the bathroom
In contrast, the kitchen features solid dark grey tones while marble tiles are used for the backsplash. Dark grey subway tiles are also used in the shower area to evoke a feeling of nostalgia.
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The developer has also made 1953 easy to maintain for homeowners. The landscape area, designed by 2nd Edition, is stocked with shady trees that require little care. Bricks – stable, durable, stylish and eco-friendly – are also widely used, like on the facilities deck.
Each unit is equipped with a mobile app and gateway device that allow residents to connect and control all the smart-home devices through their smartphones easily. Even with site limitations, an automated parking system to provide convenience to residents and their guests has also been incorporated.
1953 kitchen -  The kitchen features solid dark grey tones while marble tiles are used for the backsplash
The kitchen features solid dark grey tones while marble tiles are used for the backsplash

Celebrating the past

While 1953 is being built, potential home buyers and investors can get a glimpse of what the completed project will look like at its show- flat at Pegu Road, an eight-minute drive away from the actual site.
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Visitors to the showflat, designed by SuMisura, will be greeted by a double-volume arrival hall with vaulted skylight when they enter. The showflat features a coordinated palette of black and white to achieve a crisp, clean and modern look. The reception area spans across two show units – one with conservation features and the other, modern features.
1953 - The living and dining area of a one-bedroom-plus-study
The living and dining area of a one-bedroom-plus-study
“Despite the showflat being located away from the main road, the showflat has successfully captured the attention of the public by combining the elements of 1953 into an unforgettable experience,” says Oxley.
Design elements from the fifties also adorn the showflat – from the intricate details of the print- ed tiles to the vintage pendant light and the delicately designed metal screens. The addition of a series of columns in the showflat is inspired by the five-foot-way of the conservation shophouse.
To address the needs of owner-occupiers and investors, 1953 offers a range of 441 sq ft studios to 1,399 sq ft four-bedroom apartments. As at end-September, 30 of the 58 residential units have been sold, according to URA Realis data. The latest sale was for a 614 sq ft apartment on the fifth floor that went for $1.14 million or $1,863 psf.
1953 one bedroom plus study
The show unit of a one-bedroom-plus-study
According to Oxley, the bulk of buyers at 1953 are Singaporeans who are drawn by the development’s historical value and conservation potential. “Being a fairly affordable freehold development located in the city centre with a wide array of amenities in the vicinity makes 1953 even more attractive,” says the developer.
The project is within a five-minute walk to Farrer Park MRT Station, a six-minute walk to the upcoming Farrer Medical Hub and a 10-minute walk to City Square Mall. It is also a short walk to well-known eateries along Balestier Road such as Boon Tong Kee, Balestier Road Hoover Rojak, Whampoa Keng Fish Head Steamboat, Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh and Combat Durian.
For price trends, recent transactions, other project info, check out the 1953 project research page
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