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Thread: Safdie lead designer for Bishan condo

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    Default Safdie lead designer for Bishan condo

    [url]http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/news/story/0,4574,449318-1311796740,00.html?[/url]

    Published July 27, 2011

    [B][SIZE="5"]Safdie lead designer for Bishan condo[/SIZE][/B]


    PROPERTY giant CapitaLand has roped in renowned architect Moshe Safdie as the lead designer for its new condominium in Bishan Central.


    [SIZE="1"]Transforming Bishan: Many of the condo units will have 'sky gardens'[/SIZE]

    A unique architectural feature in the new development is the provision of private garden spaces for a large number of the condominium units. Its 'sky gardens' will also offer opportunities for commonly shared garden and leisure spaces for the residents.

    No stranger to the architecture industry, Mr Safdie's company Safdie Architects has been responsible for designing the mixed-use Marina Bay Sands integrated resort.

    CapitaLand Residential Singapore CEO Wong Heang Fine said: 'When completed, the strong architectural form of the condominium will be a landmark in Bishan, transforming its urban landscape.'

    CapitaLand has partnered Japan's Mitsubishi Estate Asia, a wholly- owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Estate Co, in a 75-25 partnership.

    CapitaLand will be the lead development manager for the project, responsible for the full spectrum of sales and marketing, product design and development, and project management.

    Located near Bishan MRT Station and Junction 8 mall, the proposed condo will have about 540 units spread across two 38-storey towers.

    Sitting on a 129,137 square foot site, the 99-year leasehold condo has an estimated gross floor area of about 632,770 sq ft.

    In February, CapitaLand clinched the Bishan site at $869 per square foot (psf) of potential gross floor area.

    For it to break even, property consultants estimate that the condo units need to be sold at $1,300 psf. The condominium is expected to be launched in the first half of 2012.

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    Default Moshe Safdie to design Bishan condo

    [url]http://www.straitstimes.com/Money/Story/STIStory_695179.html[/url]

    Jul 27, 2011

    [B][SIZE="5"]Moshe Safdie to design Bishan condo[/SIZE][/B]

    [B]Famed architect, whose firm designed ArtScience Museum, to work on project near MRT station[/B]

    By Esther Teo, Property Reporter


    [SIZE="1"]An artist's impression of the Bishan project. Experts say enlisting a world-class architect may be a way for developers to overcome price resistance by differentiating their product. -- PHOTO: CAPITALAND[/SIZE]

    AN INTERNATIONALLY renowned architect with a reputation for head-turning designs has been hired for a major condominium project in Bishan.

    In a bold move, CapitaLand has hired United States-based award winner Moshe Safdie to help reshape the look of the heartland.

    Mr Safdie, whose firm designed the eye-catching ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands, has been commissioned to design the 540-unit project on the Bishan Central site.

    The site, near Bishan MRT station, was acquired by CapitaLand for $550 million earlier this year.

    Nestled amid Bishan HDB estate, the project will consist of two 38-storey towers linked by bridging sky gardens - a world apart from the more traditional approach of individual towers for suburban condo projects.

    Developers here are gradually changing the residential landscape by dazzling buyers with big-name overseas architects, say property watchers.

    They note that famous names such as I.M. Pei - who designed office development The Gateway in Beach Road more than 20 years ago - have long crafted commercial buildings here.

    But the hiring of architects for homes is a more recent phenomenon - and has the potential to produce a major landmark dominating the Bishan area.

    'The strong architectural form of the new condominium will be a new landmark in the Bishan area, transforming its urban landscape,' said Mr Wong Heang Fine, chief executive of CapitaLand Residential Singapore.

    Mr Safdie also designed a housing project, Habitat 67 in Montreal, and Vancouver Library Square, both regarded as cutting-edge designs.

    Other internationally acclaimed architects have made headlines here in recent years.

    For example, German architect Ole Scheeren was behind The Interlace in the Alexandra Road area, American Daniel Libeskind designed Keppel Land's Reflections at Keppel Bay, and Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid was behind the massive 1,715-unit d'Leedon on the former HUDC Farrer Court estate.

    Still, these were mostly in the central or city fringe areas.

    Yet it is clear that apart from a brand name, buyers are also concerned about other factors such as pricing. None of the designer projects has sold out as yet.

    The Interlace is 65 per cent sold, Reflections has found buyers for 71 per cent of its project, while d'Leedon is 23 per cent sold as of last month.

    Experts say enlisting a world-class architect usually means a higher selling price and can be a way for developers to overcome price resistance in certain areas by differentiating their products.

    It is also rare to have renowned architects design projects in the heartland, they add, but it is the site's location in a mature estate with amenities, such as good schools and the Bishan MRT interchange station, close by that have allowed such a concept to be viable.

    Chesterton Suntec International research head Colin Tan said that as CapitaLand made a relatively high bid for the site and was likely to launch the project at a benchmark record price as well, it needed to have a key selling point.

    'They can't get away with an ordinary design or a run-of-the-mill project and charge those kinds of prices. They have already got the location, so what they need now is a reason for buyers to buy, with an iconic project to push sales.

    'It's a clever way of asking not to be compared with prices in the area because they want to be seen as different.'

    Mr Tan Kok Keong, OrangeTee's head of research and consultancy, said CapitaLand was likely to have already had the intention of building an iconic project complete with superior furnishings in its $550 million bid for the land parcel.

    He noted that the site's positive attributes might allow it to sell for more than $1,400 per sq ft (psf), but for CapitaLand to price it beyond $1,500 psf would be 'surprising' and buyers might not bite.

    'If the market is on an upswing, it is not inconceivable for the project to sell at $1,400 psf. But apart from the ample supply going forward, which might cause price resistance, it also depends on external economic conditions.'

    He said other suburban regional centres such as Jurong East could also see international names potentially making a splash in their estates in the future.

    CapitaLand had set a new record for a 99-year leasehold suburban condo site with its winning bid of $869 psf per plot ratio in February. This led some experts to predict selling prices of between $1,400 psf and $1,700 psf - a new record for suburban homes.

    Experts also noted that in a competitive housing landscape with increasingly sophisticated buyers, developers have started looking beyond selling just bricks and mortar to marketing a distinguished concept or lifestyle to a global pool of buyers. And designer architects add that touch of glamour, helping to differentiate the product further.

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