Saturday, September 5, 2009

Togetherness and privacy Interlaced

New condo at former Gillman Heights site architecturally unusual

SOME are calling it an architectural marvel. Others lament that it looks like a stack of container boxes.

Love it or hate it, the latest condominium project by CapitaLand and Hotel Properties on the former Gillman Heights site is expected to become a talking point.

Designed by Mr Ole Scheeren from the world-renowned Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) Beijing, The Interlace boasts 1,040 apartments in 31 blocks.

The blocks are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement to form eight large-scale courtyards on a sprawling 8ha site in Alexandra Road.

Mr Scheeren, who has worked on the project design for two years, said at the launch of the design yesterday that it allows privacy and space, and 'yet defines a sense of togetherness'.

The $1.4 billion, 99-year leasehold condominium will be launched next month.

The pricing will be 'affordable', even if OMA cost 'two or three times more than a local architect', said CapitaLand chief executive Liew Mun Leong. 'We are not so greedy.'

When asked, CapitaLand Residential Singapore chief executive Patricia Chia told reporters: 'We're trying very hard to keep it below $1,000 psf.'

The smallest units, 75 sq m two-bedders, could be about $700,000, she said. The biggest are the 586 sq m super penthouses.

Ms Chia said at yesterday's briefing that comparable developments include Reflections at Keppel Bay going for $1,500 to $1,700 psf and Caribbean at Keppel Bay at $800 to $1,400 psf.

Looking ahead, Mr Liew, who is set to launch a luxury project by the end of the year and an upmarket one on the former Farrer Court site in the first half of next year, said a 5 per cent to 15 per cent rise in private home prices this year is reasonable. 'The tailwinds are coming back. This year will still be okay.'

He said there is still a lot of latent demand from home hunters. He expects the strong property market to continue into the first half of next year.

Source: Straits Times, 5 Sep 2009

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