Prime shopping and prestige living at Orchard Road

By EdgeProp Singapore / EdgeProp Singapore | March 11, 2019 4:53 PM SGT
Bathed in the luminous glow cascading from digital advertising billboards fronting the malls along Orchard Road, it is hard to imagine that this shopper’s paradise was once landscaped with nutmeg plantations, pepper farms and fruit orchards in the early 1800s.
Orchard Road’s dramatic transformation into a shopping mecca officially began in 1958, when local merchant C.K. Tang established the first department store on the street. The grand dame, with its iconic green-tiled roof evocative of traditional Chinese architecture, still stands today as TANGS, holding fort at the corner of Orchard and Scotts Road, as modern marvels continue to burgeon all round.
Today, the 2.8-km boulevard rivals some of the best retail destinations in the world from London’s Bond Street and Paris’ Champs-Élysées to New York's 5th Avenue, immaculately landscaped with flower beds and greenery as a nod to the area’s historical roots.
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Located in the central region of Singapore, Orchard Road is home to more than 20 malls offering a total of 800,000 sqm of prime retail space served by three MRT stations: Orchard, Somerset and Dhoby Ghaut.
International luxury brands, designer labels, high-street fashion, lifestyle boutiques, premier hotels and an endless assortment of gastronomic and entertainment options provide all the retail therapy necessary for every palate and pocket.
Apple, for instance, opened its first concept store in Southeast Asia – Apple Orchard Road – here two years ago. Housed in a two-storey tall, elegant glass structure, the store opened to much fanfare, galvanising a tech-savvy community of Apple fans beyond its gadgets through regular workshops with local creatives.
Certainly, it’s not just all about shopping; Orchard Road is a lifestyle experience.
The folks at the Orchard Road Business Association, which oversees the development, promotion and marketing of the shopping belt, are always innovating new ways to keep attracting and engaging locals and tourists through creative initiatives.
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There are outdoor art installations strategically-placed along the boulevard, adding to the vibrancy of the place – and providing fabulous photo opportunities for the millions of tourists flowing through the street each year.
Then there’s Design Orchard, which launched earlier this year as a space for creativity, commerce and collaboration to converge in celebration of world-class, local designs. Conceptualised by the award-winning WOHA Architects, the new two-and-a-half storey building comprises a high-profile retail space on the ground level, incubation spaces on the second and third levels, and a sloped rooftop that doubles as a public park and amphitheatre.
There’s even a skate park within the Orchard district as well as *SCAPE, designed with retail and community spaces for the youth, while several major events keep the buzz going all year round with the biggest ones on the calendar being the annual Great Singapore Sale from June to August and the year-end Christmas light-up.
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And, of course, with such prestige attached to the name, a prime Orchard Road residential address is a highly sought-after commodity for both locals and expats alike, as a very exclusive selection of swanky residential towers right in the heart and on the fringes of Orchard Road avail themselves to the exceptionally affluent few.
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Did you know?
  • The official residence and office of the President of Singapore – the Istana – is located at the end of Orchard Road.
  • There were also Chinese, Sumatran and Jewish cemeteries in the Orchard precinct from the 1800s up to the 1980s.
  • Smoking is banned along Orchard Road, except for a handful of designated areas.
  • The first McDonald’s outlet in Singapore was established at Liat Towers in Orchard Road.
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