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Aimed at young, professionals, loft-style apartments in Singapore's new Icon high-rise development look to re-create the feel of the Upper East Side

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Making up about fifteen per cent of the Singapore population, young, well-paid first-time home-buyers are fuelling the demand for trendy, downtown apartments. With their long working hours and busy schedules, they want small, affordable units that are close to entertainment, their workplaces and public transport.

Singapore's first inner-city, mixed retail and residential high-rise, the 46-storey Icon, was designed to meet the needs of this upwardly mobile demographic. Developed by Far East Organization and designed by Ong & Ong Architects, it comprises 646 high-end apartments in two high-risetowers, sitting on a commercial podium.

Once construction is completed, shops on the first storey will be linked by a network of internal alleyways, with apartment entrances accessible from street level. Covered walkways will link the entire development together.

Available in one-, two-, and three-bedroom studio and loft designs, the developers are offering a choice of four different interior themes – Avant Garde, Metropolitan, Urbane and Manhattan – each aimed at a slightly different market.

Chng Kiong Huat, assistant director of project development for Far East, oversaw the design of the interiors by KKS International and ByDesign.

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"Different thematic concepts and material palettes were chosen to suit the tastes and lifestyle of young urbanites, and their desire to express their individuality and independence," he says. "Within these options, owners can personalise their living spaces and transform the interior as they choose."

The Manhattan-themed show apartment featured on these pages is characteristic of the two-bedroom loft-style units known as Skylofts, which will be located between the 32nd and 41st storeys. Chng says their interior design will be characterised as cool modernity with light colours and open spaces with plenty of natural light."

In the style of the loft apartments of Lower Manhattan, they feature 6m-high ceilings and large living areas with full-height windows to make the most of sea or city views. These will create a bold and dramatic statement, especially at night.

"Keeping in mind the active and busy lifestyle of the residents, the designs and finishes in the apartments have been kept modern, uncomplicated and easy to maintain," says Chng.

The kitchenettes have a choice of pearl laminate or oak veneer cabinetry, while the benchtops canbe either resin, stainless steel or granite.

Glass is used extensively to create an open, spacious feel. A special, textured wall cladding, made of granite and glass chips gives the apartment a club-like aesthetic.

To maximise space, the apartments feature carefully designed storage, with essential home appliances fitted unobtrusively into neat spaces. For example, a fold-down ironing board is concealed behind the full-height timber-veneer feature wall in the living area.

The loose, iconic pieces of modern furniture in the show flat pictured here were purchased from high-end designer outlets, and are complemented by a selection of items custom-designed to suit the theme and target market.

"In designing these interiors, we had to consider the lifestyle and needs of those we're marketing to," says Chng. "They want quality personal time, culture and entertainment and an energised city lifestyle. Here, the home becomes a place where they live, work and play."

Icon's tenants will also be able to make use of a 50m lap pool, private hot tubs, barbecue pits, tennis courts, a gym, aromatherapy rooms, theatrettes and a sky garden.

First published date: 16 January 2004

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Credit List

Location Icon, Singapore
Architect Ong & Ong Architects
Developer Far East Organization
Structural and civil engineer KTP Consultants
Interior design KKS International, ByDesign
Mechanical and electrical engineer J Roger Preston
Quantity surveyor KPK Quantity Surveyors