Here’s Why Flexible Spaces Are the Homes of the Future

Posted in Distinguished Developers

Working from home is no longer an alien concept.

It has been six months since CoViD-19, and the idea of waking up at your ‘workplace’ has become the norm. According to a Singapore survey done across 9,000 respondents, nine in 10 employees want to continue working from home in some capacity. 

Indeed, an increasing number of offices don’t see the work-from-home situation as a fleeting one. An expanding directory of firms, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Shopify and MasterCard are making plans for a permanent shift to remote working even after the effects of the pandemic die down. 

This shift to remote working has led to an increased conversation of the flexibility of home offices and workspaces, as well as future home planning. Indeed, flexible housing has the potential to be a design-led solution that suits the needs of a broader cross-section of society while accommodating to the needs associated with 21st-century living.

Wallich Residence’s Director’s room/Junior Master (Image credit: Guocoland)

According to Dora Chng, General Manager (Residential) at Guocoland, “Flexibility is an important factor in the post-CoViD-19 landscape where homes suddenly have to accommodate two working parents and their children undergoing home-based learning. Homes that are people-centric and are able to help owners adapt quickly to changing life demands will be an attractive proposition moving forward.” 

Intrigued, we sat down with Chng to understand more about what ‘people-centric homes’ mean and how flexible spaces will pave the way for future homeowners.

Hi Dora, tell us a little about yourself and GuocoLand. 

DC: GuocoLand is an award-winning regional property developer with operations in Singapore, China, Malaysia, Vietnam as well as the United Kingdom and Australia through strategic partnerships. Headquartered in Singapore, the Group’s portfolio comprises residential, hospitality, commercial, retail and integrated developments. In Singapore, we have successfully developed 36 residential projects resulting in approximately 11,000 apartments and homes.

Guoco Tower (Image credit: Guocoland)

As General Manager (Residential) at GuocoLand, I am responsible for the conceptualisation and implementation of the company’s sales and marketing strategies for its residential properties portfolio, including Wallich Residence, Martin Modern, Meyer Mansion, Leedon Residence, Goodwood Residence and Midtown Bay, the residential component of Guoco Midtown, GuocoLand’s latest mega integrated development.

I am also involved in the product development, product positioning and communications strategy of GuocoLand’s residential properties.

The CoViD-19 situation has led to nearly the entire workforce working from home. Moving forward, do you think that this situation is something that will be the norm in the future? 

Since Singapore entered into the circuit-breaker period, it has become more apparent for homeowners to have the flexibility to create workspaces at home. This will very likely continue even after the pandemic is over.

GuocoLand’s residential properties like Wallich Residence and the newly launched Meyer Mansion tap into flexible spaces in its design and layout. For the uninitiated, could you explain a little more on what flexible spaces mean in residential properties? 

Networking Suite at Wallich Residence’s 52/F (Image credit: Guocoland)

When designing our luxury properties, one key principle we abide by is ‘people-centrism’ — ensuring our properties enhance the lives of people. One aspect of our people-centric property designs is the concept of flexible usage which allows owners to have a choice in converting the space. While there are some commonalities in the flexible attributes of our designs, each project is different.

For instance, the facilities at the exclusive 181-unit Wallich Residence, which sits atop Singapore’s tallest building, Guoco Tower, support working from home, with a “boardroom in the sky” at level 52 and private, formal dining rooms to host business associates. 

As for Midtown Bay, it was designed to give homeowners the flexibility to use their apartment for multiple purposes — living spaces, home office and entertainment.

It has been intentionally planned such that the balcony floors are flushed with that of the living room, extending the living space seamlessly so much so that an eight-seater dining table can be placed at the balcony space of a two-bedroom apartment. This frees up space in the living area for the homeowner to create his or her workspace.

Midtown Bay Loft option illustration (Image credit: Guocoland)

Another unique offering of Midtown Bay is its two- and three-bedroom duplex units, which offer great flexibility of usage.

With these duplexes, homeowners get a choice to design their home solely as a residence or to design it for dual-use, such as having the lower level set up as a home office, while the upper level is kept private and comfortable for living and sleeping.

Why do you think flexibility is so important in home design? 

Having a home with the flexibility to adapt is vital to allow owners to accommodate various use of the space, based on changing demands of the moment and different phases of life. 

For instance, homeowners at Wallich Residence are mainly business owners and entrepreneurs who own several properties around the world. They use the apartment as a private office and residence when they travel to Singapore a few times a year. The environment at Wallich Residence provides a business-like setting that is suitable for them to meet associates, staff and host meetings using the facilities provided — such as the function rooms and dining rooms. 

Homes that have been designed with flexibility from the ground-up will provide homeowners with greater control to adapt spaces for work-from-home needs, thus enabling them to achieve closer work-life integration — which also means greater work-life balance.

The idea of flexible spaces isn’t commonly designed and considered in residential properties — if it really is that advantageous, why do you think other developers aren’t putting much emphasis on it? 

Building flexible design into homes increases the cost of development and interior design of projects. GuocoLand takes on the additional investment in many of our residential properties. 

Midtown Bay (Image credit: Guocoland)

Apart from flexible spaces, what are some aspects that professionals and HNWIs can take into consideration when selecting a home? 

Apart from the traditional factors like location and price, other factors that HNWIs and prospective homebuyers can consider are quality of the project, flexibility in design, the extent of gardens and landscaping for wellness, and the community around the development.  

For instance, Wallich Residence only has 181 units, making the residential community naturally very exclusive. This exclusivity will give rise to a unique international community living there. For many of these HNWI, what is important to them is not just the high quality of the apartments and spectacular views, but also about the neighbourhood community.

(Image credit: Guocoland)

Another factor is the long-term growth prospect of development. With Wallich Residence part of the integrated mixed development named Guoco Tower, the combination of commercial, residential, office, and hospitality components have propelled Tanjong Pagar as one of Singapore’s most premier business and lifestyle districts. 

We’ve heard that there are new projects on the line for GuocoLand, would you mind sharing with us a little more about that?

Our current projects include Martin Modern, Meyer Mansion and the mega integrated development Guoco Midtown with two residential components namely Midtown Bay and the Tan Quee Lan residential development. 

Guoco Midtown is GuocoLand’s second integrated development following Guoco Tower, our flagship development at Tanjong Pagar and Singapore’s tallest building with the 181-unit Wallich Residence at the apex. Guoco Midtown will become an exciting new landmark in Singapore with multiple towers, buildings and gardens sprawled across an expansive footprint of 3.3 hectares.  

Our latest project is the new 30-storey residential development at Tan Quee Lan Street, located right above the Bugis MRT interchange station. It will have two residential towers with more than 500 units of luxury apartments as well as a retail podium with food and beverage establishments open to the public.

This article was first published on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

(Hero image credit: Guocoland)

Staff Writer

5 New Condominium Developments to Know in Singapore

Posted in What to Buy

2019 saw a flurry of activity in Singapore’s residential property market — the bulk of which can be pegged to the island-nation’s increasing number of en bloc (collective sale) transactions. Though state-backed cooling measures are likely to reduce the frequency of new condo openings — especially when compared with the frenzied buying period between 2017-2018 — underlying market conditions in the Lion City appear to be stable. To kickstart your year, here are 5 new developments, ready to ship in 2020, that have caught our eye.

Leedon Green

Singapore condominium developments

Formerly home to Tulip Gardens, Leedon Green is the latest complex of freehold condos to be launched by Singaporean consortium MCL Land. Situation within District 10, less than ten minutes’ walk from the Farrer MRT station, Leedon Green will prove especially enticing to Singapore’s resident foodies (the development is a short drive to the major dining destinations of Sentosa and Holland Village). As is befitting of luxury condos at this scale, MCL have decorated the public spaces with an assortment of life-enhancing facilities: there are landscaped waterfalls, pools ideal for both exercise and leisure, and entertainment suites intended to facilitate residents’ social needs. Flats available for public viewing are configured in 1 to 4-bedroom layouts.

The M Condo @ Middle Road

Singapore condominium developments

The M is one of several residential sites to be auctioned off as part of the Singaporean government’s ongoing land sales program. Winning bidder Wing Charm has developed the site, located at the heart of Bugis, as a mixed-use development. A total of 375 leasehold flats are available, bifurcated into two zones of 20 and 6-storey buildings. 
The development’s Middle Road location presents an array of benefits that are attractive for quality of life purposes: there’s excellent accessibility to Circle, Downtown, and the North-South Corridor; in addition to a wealth of dining options on one’s doorstep.

The Enclave Holland

Singapore condominium developments

True to its name, luxury developer Three Sixty-Nine’s ‘The Enclave’ is a collection of 26 ultra-secluded duplexes — ideal for young homemakers who wish to remain close to the action. A variety of floorplans are on offer: ranging in size from one to four bedrooms (several even include double-height ceilings, for an unrivalled amount of space).
The project was overseen by celebrated local architects Park + Associates, making quite the impression with its mullioned, low-rise silhouette. Many of the property’s public spaces seize on the feeling of a shared, suburban domicile. There’s a single pool at the back of the ground floor shared between all residents, in addition to communal attic space above the 5th floor — both unusual details by Singaporean standards.

3 Cuscaden

Singapore condominium developments

Sustained Land’s revitalization of the historic Cuscaden Mansions consists of an exclusive 11 apartments, sprawling out across a massive site measuring 21,560 sqm. Across the road from Four Seasons Singapore and Orchard Road, this is an apt choice for private investors who demand a property which ticks all the boxes when it comes to convenience and connectivity.

Kopar at Newton

Singapore condominium developments

Conveniently located near the Central Expressway, North-South Line and Newton Circus, Kopar is the newest strategically situated development to be built by Singaporean developer CEL. Being in District 9, purchasers will have good access to a range of exciting areas throughout the city, though the clear trump card is Kopar’s proximity to Newton Food Centre: a major dining hub for locals and tourists alike. Currently, a total of 435 condos are up for purchase — available for a leasehold of 99 years.

Randy Lai

10 Ultra-luxe Homes in Asia to Buy This January

Posted in What to Buy

As the new year begins, so do our endeavours to find the ultimate dream home. The target? Only the most luxurious, biggest, or stunning homes across Asia will do. From Taiwanese mansions to penthouses in Singapore and townhouses on The Peak in Hong Kong, here are the properties that made it onto our top ten ultra luxe list.

37 Island Road in Deep Water Bay, Hong Kong

For an easy HK$1,800,000,000, this stunning detached house in Hong Kong’s prestigious address in Deep Water Bay could be your new home. The townhouse has a phenomenal view of the sea and holds four sumptuous bedrooms and five bathrooms across an expansive 5,276 sq. ft. area. A spacious private garden, balcony and covered car park also add to the privacy of this property. Its close proximity to country parks, golf course, yacht club and international schools doesn’t hurt either.

The Harbour View House in Sentosa, Singapore

As 12,500-sq.-ft. harbour view houses go, this extraordinary property in Singapore is really quite spectacular. Selling for HK$449,548,024, this two-floor modern-style seaside house is located on the northern side of Sentosa Cove, which lends a great view across the sea. Two wings are connected by an entry pavilion and centres around a lush courtyard. The east wing offers two floors of living space with six bedrooms and seven bathrooms, while the one-floor west wing holds the home office and has been designed to entertain. Other highlights include an outdoor pool, garden space and a jacuzzi.

98 Wireless Road in Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok’s thriving property market has meant a wide array of prime real estate on offer. One such investment includes a luxury duplex in Sansiri’s flagship condominium, 98 Wireless. It’s been dubbed the Fifth Avenue of Bangkok and features an elegant space with three bedrooms and bathrooms. The stylish 2,691 sq. ft. space is worth HK$47,451,35 and is what luxury homes are made of. The property is also furnished with a salon, fitness, playroom, spa room and swimming pool. 

Mountain Peak Mansion in Taipei, Taiwan

Perched on the peak of Yangming Mountain, this mansion is conveniently located near downtown Taipei and yet still benefits from endless greenery. It really is the best of both worlds. The property itself is designed with minimal Japanese style in mind and features floor to ceiling windows to fully show off the natural surroundings. It also has expansive space for a garden, along with a terrace and farm land which welcomes horses too. Price is available upon request.

Galleria Costa in Kanagawa, Japan

This estate is not only uniquely designed so that all rooms face the coast of Manazuru peninsula, but it’s also huge. It holds over 13,000 sq. ft. of space which includes one master bedroom, three guest rooms, an outdoor pool, two outdoor baths, mist sauna, stone sauna, treatment room, fitness room, jacuzzi, tennis court, golf simulator, home theatre with karaoke system, library, wine cellar, massage room, and much, much more. Price is available upon request.

17 Bluff Path at The Peak, Hong Kong

Sitting above the rest of Hong Kong, this luxury townhouse features five bedrooms and six bathrooms. Inside, modern design elements blend seamlessly with a classic style to ensure timelessness. The sophisticated 4,559 sq. ft. home is a cool HK$1,200,000,000 investment that offers both mountain and sea views, while a garden and terrace provide more private space within to enjoy. The partially furnished property also includes a fully equipped kitchen as well as six covered car park spots to protect your cars from natural elements.

Penthouse in Reflections at Keppel Bay, Singapore

Luxury waterfront property Reflections at Keppel Bay was designed by renowned architect Daniel Libeskind and features the iconic and impressive double curvature towers with alternating heights. At the very top, this 13,309 sq. ft. penthouse showcases some of Singapore’s most jaw-dropping vistas from above. It also spans three floors and features six bedrooms, a spacious living and dining area, and a contemporary party zone on the top floor for elegant entertaining.

Veyla Natai Beach House in Phuket, Thailand

For those seeking sun, sand and sea in privacy, this secluded beach house on Natai beach in Phang Nga is just the place. There are only thirty units available on the property, and only seven facing the unobstructed views of the pristine Andaman sea, making beach vacationing ultra exclusive. The 7,792 sq. ft. villa comes fully furnished with custom furniture and state-of-the-art technology. It’s also equipped with three beds, three baths, a private beach front, fitness centre and private swimming pool. This holiday home will set you back approximately HK$25,500,000.

Cemagi Villa in Bali, Indonesia

This seaside villa is situated on the coast of Batu Bolong Beach in Cemagi village and is, for want of a more elaborate word — paradise. It’s one part contemporary, one part luxury and just a stone’s throw away from the beach, lush tropical gardens and ocean views. The12,900 sq. ft. five bedroom villa asks for HK$25,260,000 and inside the Balinese oasis, you’ll find floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors that flood the space with light. Upstairs, there are dual master suites with open air bathrooms and sea-view balconies, private guest suites, and terraces. The most spectacular feature however is the sunken 98 ft. pool with an alfresco dining lounge against enchanted tropical landscaping.

Taiwan Villa in New Taipei City, Taiwan

A rare gem (one of five to be exact) by Seattle architect Jim Olson is a masterpiece property embodying art, architecture and nature. Located in the gated community in Great Taipei New Town for the highest levels of privacy and security, the 7,484 sq. ft. three-floor home holds a perfect balance of indoor and outdoor spaces, spacious interiors, private gardens and outside terraces. The three bed and bath is within close proximity to prestigious schools, special amenities and the famous Wulai Hot Springs. It also has its own private pool overlooking the rolling hills of Taipei City. Price is available upon request.

As of the publishing date of this article, any aforementioned properties were available for sale. We cannot guarantee that these properties will be available for sale indefinitely, so please check the respective listings for the most up-to-date information.

Fontaine Cheng
Born and bred in London, Fontaine is a self-proclaimed foodie with extensive experience in the luxury lifestyle landscape. When not exploring the world — discovering cultures and tasting new dishes — she can be found sipping a nice cup of tea (or G&T) hoping to adopt a puppy.

10 Ultra-luxe Homes in Asia to Buy This December

Posted in What to Buy

Following nearly a decade of unbroken expansion, Asia’s real estate markets are in for choppier waters. U.S.-China tensions, rising interest rates, expensive debt financing — the region has its fair share of challenges. Nevertheless, market fundamentals in 2019 remain solid: high-level acquisitions continue — backed by massive reserves of institutional capital — and, despite volatility, experts are predicting investment in the region will rise to US$108 billion. For now it seems, the cycle continues. To help you get the most out of it, we’ve curated a mixture of 10 ultra-luxe homes — both condo-style and freestanding. Located in mature and emerging Asian markets, these will make a welcome addition to any private portfolio (or at the very least, a stunning holiday home). Read on below.

YOO8 Residences, Kuala Lumpur

ultra-luxe homes in Asia

Located in the heart of the KL city centre, YOO8 sets a bold new benchmark for premium living in Southeast Asia. The apartments, designed by British interiors guru Kelly Hoppen and ranging in size between 705-1,328 sq ft, are part of the ambitious mixed-use development at 8 Conlay — local developer KSK’s answer to world-class dining, residences, and retail all rolled into one. 

Martin Modern, Singapore

ultra-luxe homes in Asia

Situated within earshot of the Singapore CBD, and 5 minutes walking distance from the Great World MRT line, it’s all ‘location location’ at Martin Modern — the newest addition to GuocoLand’s coterie of luxury residences. In the best tradition of Singaporean condos, the development makes ample use of the native landscape: residents have access to 15 different green spaces (e.g. forest trails, rain gardens, mazes), whilst 80 percent of the site has been intentionally earmarked for arboreal use.

28 Barker Road, Hong Kong

ultra-luxe homes in Asia

Located amidst the billionaire enclave of Barker Road, this 4-bedroom property — much like neighbouring addresses on the Peak — boasts uninterrupted views of Victoria Harbour. It’s part of an exclusive 7-house development, with all residents sharing a private clubhouse and indoor swimming pool. Each house features a private lift and includes two covered carports. 

ARNA Ekamai, Bangkok

ultra-luxe homes in Asia

Located at the intersection of Thong Lo, Ekamai and the upscale Emporium mall, ARNA is a relatively serene development consisting of 11 private residences. Homes are available in three configurations: all of which feature a 4-car garage, and a bare minimum of 3,710 sq ft interior space. Additionally, the development’s location (off of 65 Sukhumvit Road) gives residents unprecedented access to some of the best transport infrastructure in the capital.

Damansara Hilltop, Kuala Lumpur

ultra-luxe homes in Asia

Located in the Damansara township straddling the border of Petaling Jaya, this lofty 5-bedroom listing is an ideal base of operations for families — not to mention throngs of errant bachelors — but is still within driving distance of Malaysia’s capital. No expense was spared in the entertainment department, with the property boasting an infinity pool, gym, and purpose-built home cinema.

Siyut Villa, Bali

ultra-luxe homes in Asia

Quiet beachfront villas are something of a rarity in Bali nowadays yet this five-bedroom listing — at the centre of a sprawling 2.23 hectare estate — is a potent reminder of why holidaymakers fell in love with the province in the first place. A stone’s throw from the southeastern town of Sanur, this listing meshes airy modernist architecture with Balinese interiors à la Bill Bensley. Not to be missed: the jaw dropping pool-slash-courtyard.

Le Nouvel Ardmore, Singapore

ultra-luxe homes in Asia

WingTai’s latest luxe abode — overseen by Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel — is set within the heart of Ardmore Park, boasting all of the bells & whistles one would normally associate with Singapore’s new wave of premiere condos. There’s a clubhouse, concierge service, even a full-size tennis court, but it’s the building’s facade — clad in a mesmerising grid of luminescent material — that proves the most striking.

15 Northcliffe Terrace, Gold Coast

ultra-luxe homes in Asia

Gilt with pristine ocean views as far as the eye can see, this 3-bedroom condo — at a covetable address in the heart of sunny Surfers Paradise — mixes Antipodean cool with the very best in modern living. The property is accessed via dedicated key-coded lift, and opens out onto a verdant living space which doubles as a jewel box of natural light.Finishes make ample use of premium timber and Carrara marble, whereas all kitchen appliances come courtesy of Gaggenau.

Majes Tower, Tokyo

Within earshot of retail/dining hotspots such as Tokyo Midtown and Roppongi Hills, Majes Tower is a fantastic option for residents who wish to explore Tokyo’s more cosmopolitan side. While the average floor plan here veers toward cosiness, Majes Tower’s location more than makes up for this — yielding excellent views (particularly at nighttime) of surrounding Minato-ku.

One Riverside, Taipei

Residents at this high-end development, pitched across the water from New Taipei City, enjoy panoramic vistas of the Taiwanese capital’s many landmarks. Taipei 101 and the Keelung River are all within sight, and for those who prefer exercising outdoors a 204-hectare public park — popular with Taipei locals — is within walkable distance. Residents also enjoy proximity to some of the city’s ‘it’ destinations, including Miramar Commercial Circle and The Mandarin Oriental.

Randy Lai

A Look Inside Singapore’s Most Expensive Penthouse Ever

Posted in Posh Penthouses

There must be some serious money in vacuum cleaners and hair dryers because Sir James Dyson, founder of one the world’s most well-known eponymous brands, recently spent a jaw-dropping US$54.2 million on a massive penthouse in one of Singapore’s tallest buildings.

And if that’s not enough to make you gasp, here’s another nugget: The British billionaire actually saved a huge amount of money in the deal, since the apartment was listed for almost twice the amount at US$80 million — said to be the most expensive in Singapore. What’s more, since Dyson has permanent residence status there, he is not required to pay the high property taxes that most other foreigners purchasing property in Singapore would have needed to.

‘Most expensive’ is, however, not the penthouse’s only claim to fame; it is also the highest. Set within the exclusively luxurious Wallich Residence, which occupies the 39th to 64th floors of the sky-high Guoco Tower, the three-storey apartment is spread across the top 62nd to 64th floors. Sitting at almost 1,000 feet above sea level, it offers breathtaking views over the city’s vast skyline and the glittering blue waters of Marina Bay.

Inside the expansive, 21,100-square-foot penthouse are five lavishly appointed bedrooms, six bathrooms, three half-baths, a pool, sky deck, Jacuzzi and a barbecue pit. And as if that weren’t enough, there’s even a 600-bottle wine cellar.

The exquisite marble flooring adds a touch of refined opulence. But it’s the floor-to-ceiling windows, in almost every room in the triplex apartment, that truly catch one’s attention as they present a sense of unadulterated openness, not only to the city below but also the skies above. One can only imagine the shimmering beauty of millions of stars at night as seen from such a vantage point.

While the stupendous sum for the apartment may seem exorbitant for some, for Dyson it’s certainly manageable. After all, his net worth currently stands at US$12.6 billion , as per the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, making him the 109th richest person on the planet. In 2018, after his company took in revenues of an astounding $1.4 billion, he was named the richest person in Britain, too. Which brings the famous phrase to mind: “If you have it, spend it!”

Staff Writer