Sophia Hills shines with integrated heritage concept

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - The judges for the EdgeProp Singapore Excellence Awards 2020 conferred the Top Development Award for a completed residential project in the Central Region to Sophia Hills, a 493-unit development on Sophia Road.
The development was recognised by the judges this year for its excellence in design, sustainability, and overall innovation. The panel of six judges also praised the design concept for its careful integration of three conservation buildings on site.
The judges praised the overall design concept of Sophia Hills for its careful integration of conserved buildings with the new residential blocks. (Picture: Hoi Hup Realty)
Sophia Hills was jointly developed by Hoi Hup Realty, Sunway Developments, and S C Wong Holdings. The consortium submitted the winning bid for the 99-year leasehold site in a government land tender in 2013.
The development sits at the top of a hill in the Mount Sophia residential enclave in prime District 9. The redeveloped site includes three gazetted conservation buildings: Trinity Theological College Chapel, built in 1968 and now converted into a restaurant; the former Nan Hwa Girl’s High School, built in 1939 and repurposed as a new childcare centre; and the Olsen Building of the former Methodist Girls’ School, built in 1928 and now serves as The Sophia Clubhouse for residents.

Inspired by heritage

Although a substantial number of historic buildings on site had to make way for the new residential blocks and condominium facilities, the design and construction teams enacted intervention plans to preserve and incorporate the architecture and presence of the demolished buildings throughout the new residential development.
“Steel pivoted windows from the 1950s Sophia Blackmore Memorial Building were carefully dismantled, restored, and integrated as a heritage feature screen at the main vehicular drop off area, which also commemorates the history of the former Methodist Girls’ School campus,” the developer says.
Sophia Blackmore Memorial Building - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Steel pivoted windows from the 1950s Sophia Blackmore Memorial Building, that was demolished, were carefully dismantled, restored, and integrated as a heritage feature screen at the main vehicular drop-off area. (Picture: Hoi Hup Realty)
The judges also praised the architecture and design of Sophia Hills for incorporating design elements from the conserved buildings onto the new residential blocks. For example, the residential blocks feature terracotta cladding that mirrors the similarly coloured roof tiles on the Olsen Building.
Landscape planning was also carefully integrated with the broader architecture, and the green spaces enhance the condo’s communal areas. For example, tiered planters with lush vegetation soften the aesthetics of the retaining wall surrounding the development. Vertical green walls are also placed along the side of the Olsen Building that faces residential blocks to provide a green view for residents. Plants along footpaths also provide privacy for residential units on the ground floor.

Conserving the legacy

Sophia Hills also scored high in sustainability for its ecological and environmentally conscious approach during the construction phase. “Items and ornaments that have significant architectural meaning in the former buildings were deliberately salvaged and given new lease of life by incorporating them into the development,” the developer says. Salvaged features included roof tiles, steel windows, and other culturally significant ironmongery pieces. This contributed in reducing the overall amount of construction materials and cut down other types of construction waste typically generated during the building process.
The judging also took into consideration special mention of Sophia Hills at the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Architectural Heritage Awards in 2018. On top of its conservation efforts during redevelopment, developers placed heritage markers around the development and engaged with alumni of the schools and college to keep the educational legacy alive, as well as give a sense of continuity to the wider residential neighbourhood.
The residential blocks feature terracotta cladding that mirrors the roof tiles on the Olsen Building of the former Methodist Girls’ School built in 1928. (Picture: Hoi Hup Realty)
“A major part of the conservation works was focused on conserving and restoring key heritage buildings on the existing site. More than 50% of the existing structures were retained with minimal replacement and reconstruction works to be carried out,” the developer says. The former Nan Hwa Girls’ High School building was restored and repurposed as a childcare centre, and a new drop off area and pedestrian side gate was added to provide access to the main Sophia Road.

Brand name for quality homes

Sophia Hills has made its mark as an outstanding project in Hoi Hup Realty’s portfolio of developments in Singapore and reiterates the developer’s track record in building high quality homes. This commitment is expected to translate into the developer’s newest luxury residential project, Ki Residences at Brookvale. The 999-year development is next to the tranquil Sunset Way landed housing estate, and Ki Residences at Brookvale will be surrounded by lush greenery in this serene environment.
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The development has been conceptualised as a place of respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, while uncompromising on accessibility and connectivity. Hoi Hup Realty is building a new direct access road that will connect Brookvale Drive to Clementi Road, which will further enhance the condo’s accessibility.
Sophia Hills and Ki Residences at Brookvale showcase Hoi Hup Realty’s brand essence in designing quality homes with homeowners in mind. With Sophia Hills, the judges recognised the efforts put in to incorporate key conservation elements to turn it into an excellent residence.
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