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“What does it mean to live well in Singapore? UOL’s answer is in its portfolio. Since our founding in 1963, a spirit of innovation and a passion for masterpieces have led us to create quality developments recognized internationally for their architectural excellence. Our design-led residential projects are recognized with some of industry’s highest accolades-but beyond the hall of fame, it is the pleasure in seeing how our properties translate into beautiful homes that inspires us to continue pushing the envelope.
70 Saint Patrick’s is envisioned to be a rethinking of conventional condominiums. Can we carve unique living spaces out of one development? Can we accommodate different lifestyles for all? Great thought has been put into the configuration of blocks and interior layouts to make for a specific, yet also harmonious and organic living environment.
We believe you will find 70 Saint Patrick’s a beautiful address to call home.”
Come home to tranquility…
Come home to privacy…
Come home to relaxation…
Come home to family
Welcome to 70 Saint Patrick’s…
People & Places…
Saint Patrick’s sits in the Katong District, and from the trunk of East Coast Road seaward to East Coast Parkway, small quaint one-way streets run up and down, housing along them a colourful mix of heritage shops, cafes, and even whole art enclaves.
Close to the sea, this neighbourhood was where the early local Peranakan community had settled to build homes. Today, home museums and boutiques such as The Intan and Rumah Bebe still hold on to the last vestiges of this unique culture. At other places, the past gives way to the new. The Goodman Arts Centre has found a perfect dwelling place on a beautiful old campus site. New neighbours, like comfort-food cafe The Garden Slug and bike store Cannasia, have also come into the heritage district and added their characters.
The best condominium developments offer room and scope for their architects and designers to dream – visions and plans that point towards a strong and interesting conceptual direction without being at all prescriptive.
70 Saint Patrick’s is envisioned as a rethinking of conventional condominiums and it desires to recognize, celebrate and house a whole spectrum of modern lifestyles. With this in mind, the development welcomes creative exploration and three design specialists were engaged to interpret the unique vision. Consortium 168 Architects, landscape architecture firm Sitetectonix, and experiential design studio Ministry of Design, both well-respected and recognised in the industry, contributed their expertise. In the next pages, the three designers share their philosophies, approaches and thinking behind key plans and design decisions.
When Laurence Tan set up Consortium 168 Architects in 1982, he wanted to practise “architecture with heart”-architecture that truly considers the people inhabiting it. It follows that at C168, design is undertaken with an inside-out approachand the first design decisions are always made for the individual unit.
“It is about how a unit should be oriented, what it should see, how much light can come in, how the layout flows…what is best for homeowners,” explains director Koon Wai Leong, who oversees the firm’s projects with Tan. The strategy for 70 Saint Patrick’s is no different.
In this development, some of the architect’s key aims include creating maximum vista, maximum day lighting, and through ventilation for individual units. A variety of unique unit layouts is also creatively imagined for different lifestyles. “The creation of vastly different internal layout necessitated a departure from the usual condominium rectilinear block,” Koon shares of the residential blocks, each of which take after a boomerang form with wings spiralling out on ends. Notably, the blocks are also spread across the site in a pinwheel pattern, orientated for the enjoyment of maximum vistas and privacy.
Koon explains that, in effect, “the units at the wings will have living and dining space facing the main landscaped space and the kitchen facing the secondary landscaped space. The other units with pools in front and behind are designed with living and dining rooms facing front and back, thus creating dual views and through ventilation. They also enjoy better privacy as there are less shared common walls and most units do not overlook units next to them.”
Considered design gestures make for quiet luxuries, but on top of creating practical living spaces for the urban context, Koon and Tan say they want to reinstall ideals of apartment living- something which the architects feel are increasingly disappearing from new condominium developments.
A detail the architects included is the pitched roof at the attic floors of the wings, which when combined with the gable end walls recalls the quintessential house shape. “The domicile imagery provides a visual link to the historical significance of the Katong and East Coast area of being a laid back and affluent landed housing area,” Koon shares.
Believing that it is important for living areas to offer a good amount of spaciousness, openess and flexibility for homeowners to create their own homes, Tan and Koon also note that these units enjoy bigger floor areas on top of considerations such as daylighting, ventilation and connection to the surroundings. “If these fundamentals are met, architects really need not do much for the homeowners to enjoy their homes very much.” Koon says.
The Interior Designer
“Maybe it isn’t your generic couple who might stay here. They might be your couple who are intrepid travellers because although they are rooted in Singapore and perhaps raised in the East, they are also very wordly, very wise, they travel half the year…” Colin Seah describes.
The life story of the couple Seah has been relating in entirely fictitious, but of course he is talking in context of the show gallery of 70 Saint Patrick’s. The condominium show units are essentially just that-they are made up stories, a picture of our dream homes.
Being tasked to create the show gallery of 70 Saint Patrick’s is by no means an east task, considering this is a development that accommodates diverse lifestyles, if not one that rethinks typical condominium living. Where does one begin, with only imaginary people, lifestyles and aspirations to being work with?
The Director and Found of experiential design studio, Ministry of Design, went about it as he would any other project: he and his team studied the overall development, and then made sure that above this research, the team had enough creative space “to dream freely”. This process -having a solid understanding of the development and then building upon it freely-ensure that project transcends convention, but do not become mere flights of fancy.
For Seah, the materiality of St Patrick’s was a clear standout. He explains, “We found that this is more than a project that is merely painted over, or that is just very glassy. There is a certain tactility, a certain honesty in it which becomes the common thread through the project that we wanted to celebrate. We do so by using this materiality as our baseline for the design.”
Upon this, the narrative of the imaginary couple was then created, with their lifestyle and aspirations fleshed out in details that go right down to their taste in music, art and design.
Seah shares that designing in the residential context is very personal and in fact his own experiences inevitably come through into the work. Even so, he is careful to consider the people he is creating for. He explains, “Nobody is generic anymore so this show unit is not meant to be exclusionary, but neither is it so generic that you I would walk in and go “this is so blah”.
Using my own ideas of home as a basis is not about the ego of being self-centered. By imagining that you are designing for yourself, the passion is ignited and things flow and the intuitive nature by which design is governed comes.” The strategy works, because while the design gallery is rich and inspired is isn’t prescriptive-exactly what the open and all-embracing vision of 70 Saint Patrick’s is all about.
The Landscape Architect
To take a stroll through the grounds of 70 Saint Patrick’s is to take a wall through the master plan of Helen Smith-Yeo. As the development’s landscape architect, Smith-Yeo is responsible for creating the character of the estate. She considers the big-picture plan of placements and connections holistically, but is also in charge of the details-the type of decking that would bring one to the clubhouse, for example, or the species of plants that should characterize each individual pocket garden. Unlike architecture, landscape design is less concrete, more backdrop; and because what id creates is often a sense of place from a series of spaces. Unlike a tall building one can stand before and be in awe of; the landscape can sometimes get overlooked by the public. But to Smith-Yeo, Director of landscape architecture, urban design and planning firm Sitetectonix, this relative anonymity works just fine.
“To us, what we want to do well is the work itself,” the architect shares. “The satisfaction is in seeing the work built and built well and ultimately the best reward is the appreciation of people who use the spaces we create. We are not really looking for fame, not trying to be superstars.” What Smith-Yeo pursues is design excellence and by that she means the designed landscape has to rise above fulfilling all their functional aspects and be memorable. “Landscaped spaces need to have a certain sense of beauty about them.”
For 70 Saint Patrick’s because the way the blocks are sited creates disparate pockets of common spaces, Smith-Yeo first structure all facilities and common spaces into five larger organizing thematic zones. At the centre of the development is the social and wellness zone where the clubhouse, the gym as well as the 50m lap pool and hydro gym are located. Around this central zone, the rest of the common zones, including a quiet private sanctuary, an exciting leisure zone, as well as a more naturalistic zone are conceptualized as a series of experience offering their respective amenities.
A notable feature of 70 Saint Patrick’s is that it has a bio pond with ‘Fire Flies’ Deck. “This is something more ephemeral, naturalistic and organic in character,” Smith-Yeo explains. “As a concept, bio ponds are relatively new to condos although they have been used in Europe for a long time. For 70 Saint Patrick’s we combined this idea with these places in Malaysia that have a lot of fireflies and they become beautiful attractions, so we though of adapting and abstracting that for an urban setting.” What results is a pocket of “dreamlike” wilderness-a welcome addition to a property already decked out with top quality modern amenities.