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Back to nature – Orchard Residences in Singapore

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Apartment interior in Orchard Residences, Singapore

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Interesting architecture often reflects ahistorical reference, and it may well be a visual link to the origins of the site.

The Ion Orchard development in Orchard Road, Singapore is a case in point. The development, which is a joint venture between CapitaLand and Sun Hung Kai Properties, needed to provide an iconic landmark with world-class retail facilities and a prestigious, high-end, 56-storey apartment tower – Orchard Residences. The owners also wanted the development to incorporate a grand civic gesture.

RSP Architect Planners and Engineers worked with Benoy on the concept design for the external facade, which references the orchards that once stood on site. Benoy director David Buffonge says the retail podium features tree-like columns, and the facade has contours and lines that echo the form of fruits and nuts.

"The design provides a highly visible shop front and creates a powerful, organic presence that provokes interaction. The retail canopy draws on the metaphors of skin and foliage."

"The tower design was inspired by the concept of roots and shoots growing up out of the canopy below," Buffonge says. "Even the interlocking pattern of undulating shapes in the three-dimensional, free-form curvilinear glass and metal facade was based on the complex patterns and textures found in nature."

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The organic reference is also picked up in the apartment featured on these pages. The interior, designed by Kelvin Gan and Jenny Lim of Elements ID Consultants, combines a variety of naturally textured materials, including a dramatic Poroto Silver black and silver marble wall that is a feature of the open-plan living space.

"This is a very dramatic marble with a lot of graining," says Gan. "It makes a strong design statement. The apartment is very light and airy, with lots of floor-to-ceiling windows, so I felt it could easily take the dark walls."

The designer says that because the owner wanted a clean-lined, contemporary interior, much of the visual impact is provided by the choice of materials. For example, the marble wall is teamed with ebony wood veneer cabinetry that also has a strong textural component. The cabinetry on one side incorporates a sliding mirrored panel that conceals the television when not in use.

The silver travertine marble floor is another highly grained element. Because the floor is such a distinctive part of the interior, Gan chose a glass-topped dining table so the marble could be seen beneath the table.

Further visual impact is provided by the placement of key sculptural items. A crystal chandelier above the table is hung on chains of uneven length to create an undulating wave effect. There is also a sculpture that creates a focal point at the end of the hallway to the bedrooms.

Positioned within the curved end of the building, the bedroom suites are also designed to maximise the spectacular 360° views from the apartment.

First published date: 30 July 2012

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Credit List

Location The Orchard Residences, Singapore
Development Orchard Turn Developments Pte Ltd
Principal architect RSP Architects
Apartment interior designer Kelvin Gan, Jenny Lim, Elements ID Consultants
Kitchen designer KHL Marketing Asia-Pacific
Kitchen manufacturer Poggenpohl
Window and door joinery YKK AP Singapore Pte Ltd
Blinds Somfy
Drapes J&S Design
Tiling Polybuilding (S) Pte Ltd
Lighting Lim Kim Hai Electric Co (S) Pte Ltd; Moise Inc Pte Ltd
Air conditioning Joven Electric (S) Pte Ltd
Wallpaper Goodrich Global from Xessex Pte Ltd
Living room furniture Minotti; Porada; Polaris; Xtra; Marquis; Dedon
Dining room furniture Cosantini Pietro
Bedroom furniture Marquis; Xtra
Audiovisual equipment AV Land Pte Ltd
Control systems Clipsal C-Bus
Oven, cooktop and microwave Gaggenau
Refrigerator Sub-Zero
Bathroom tapware Hansgrohe; Grohe Story by Colleen Hawkes Exterior photography by Tim Nolan Interior photography by Andy Liew