As Singapore’s first housing estate, Toa Payoh holds more than 60 years of pioneering spirit and is now a microcosm of landmarks, public spaces and various demographic groups. Gem Residences was designed with a sensitivity to these layers that hold the rich history and culture of the town. “It was this multi-faceted nature of the Toa Payoh estate that became one of the main drivers in the design of this development,” says Yuen Yi-May, who was singled out by Singapore Business Review as one of Singapore’s 15 great architects and engineers aged 40 and younger last year. This means carrying out living spaces for a contemporary lifestyle while retaining basic creature comforts which led to a triadic focus on facilities, activities and personalized concierge services. Multiple facilities from outdoor teppanyaki and grill pavilions to a spacious clubhouse with cooking facilities, and a 50m swimming pool to unparalleled views from rooftop spaces, cater for the multiple facets of living. Communal spaces such as urban farming plots and a pet area also foster organic interaction as a nod towards the original kampong spirit of the town.
To be a home of the future also calls for the consideration of sustainability. The architecture is designed to respond to nature, such that sun rays falls as light but not heat, and ventilation comes with maximized views. Lush greenery lines the journey from entrance to doorstep for a welcoming boulevard that leads you home. More than just another building that just blends into the landscape, Gem Residences carries forth the constant renewal of the town as a contemporary and the next cut in its urban tapestry.
Smart Connections to other parts of Singapore
Singapore is small. It is also a densely populated city, making proximity to amenities all the more essential. Time is a commodity too valuable to be wasted on traveling an hour just for groceries. Also key is location to prime areas, both for work and play — not only does a short commute preserve sanity, there’s just so many things more worth the time stuck in transit. Toa Payoh ticks all the right boxes: besides being a 14-minute drive away from CBD, a mere four train stops from the Orchard shopping belt and located near various recreational parks and educational institutes, the town is also a well-established public transport node that connects residents to other parts of Singapore with ease. Still, there’s little reason to get out of town with its myriad of amenities and facilities. Just minutes away from the interchange is a library, a 3900-seat stadium, swimming complex, gymnasium, and a vibrant mix of both modern and traditional stores. The size of the town is also thankfully not relative to the considerable number of infamous hawker and cafe joints dotted along the lorongs, making it possible to walk to good food. After all, while the “heartware” is what differentiates a town, it has to be partnered with the right “hardware” — transport, facilities, and well-planned infrastructure just to name a few. One can hardly ignore the essential role of smart technology and the recognition that while the forecast for future mobility is green, the outlook isn’t — the importance of sustainable transportation is certainly not to be ignored, especially for cities. Traveling green may not seem as viable right now with the great need for convenience and speed, but with initiatives such as the building of the 36-km Central Urban Loop, which brings Singapore’s Park Connector Network (PCN) to a total distance of 300km, it may soon be. Meanwhile, consider this: living with electric car charging pods, car-sharing initiatives and concierge services can be quick steps forward in saving the future without a lifestyle overhaul.