In 2013, Ardmore Residence won the prestigious Emporis Skyscraper Award, becoming one of the top 10 skyscrapers in the world. Since then, luxury property has become an iconic development in Singapore’s real estate market. Part of its grand success was due to the creative mind of Dutch architect Ben van Berkel.
Ardmore Residence is an exclusive $80 million residential development situated at the heart of the prestigious Ardmore enclave. It was developed by Irvine Investments Private Ltd, who enlisted the help of Ben van Berkel, the principal architect of the architectural practice, UN Studio.
UN Studio is a global network of experts in architecture, urban development, and infrastructure. The UN, in its name, stands for “United Network.” It’s a full-service design network with international offices in six locations: Amsterdam, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Dubai, and Melbourne. Based in the Netherlands, the studio was founded by him and Caroline Bos in 1988. Since then, together with various experts from his studio, van Berkel has designed many iconic urban developments and infrastructural projects.
One of his most notable developments in the Mercedes-Benz Museum, located in Stuttgart, Germany. The building is renowned as a cultural landmark, standing like a new gateway to the city. Its famous design was conceptualized to showcase the past, present, and future of the Mercedes-Benz car. As a result, the museum is akin to a 21st-century temple to automotive design, with meaningful architectural pieces designed to show off its extensive vehicle collection.
His other developments include the World Horticultural Expo in China, the Youturn Pavilion in Brazil, the Theater of Immanence in Germany, the New Budapest Bridge in Hungary, the Hardt Hyperloop in the Netherlands, the Challenge Museum in South Korea, the Limassol Hotel and Residences, Raffles City in Hangzhou and Future City in Hague.
UNStudio’s Ben van Berkel also designed various other architectural projects in Singapore other than Ardmore Residence. Singapore University of Technology and Design was, in fact, one of his projects. Together with DP Architects, he designed a university campus that encourages 24/7 cross-disciplinary interaction between students, faculty, and professionals. This vision was materialized through the building’s adaptable architectural layout and the incorporation of informal working and social spaces. Designed as a sustainable university campus, the campus has various green roof terraces and sky gardens. In addition, to counteract Singapore’s tropical climate, it uses multiple design strategies and applies natural ventilation principles to create a cool, refreshing environment for the students.
Among the residential properties, he developed was Scotts Tower, a modern condominium located at the heart of prime District 9. The 31-storey development comprises 231 homes and features expansive landscaped gardens, sky terraces, penthouse roof gardens, and world-class recreational facilities. Its architectural concept was to create a ‘vertical city’ incorporating various residence types and scales. The idea was interpreted in the three scales, “city,” “neighborhood,” and “home,” which are bound together by vertical frames and sky frames. The sky frames at the lobby and the sky terrace organize the various greenery and facilities of Scotts Tower. Like Ardmore Residence, its masterfully crafted architecture and exclusive location make it high-coveted among home buyers and investors in the real estate market.
UNStudio’s other projects in Singapore include V on Shenton, a mixed-use commercial and residential redevelopment located at Singapore’s Central Business District. They also designed the Changi Airport Complex, which serves as a perfect attraction in the airport for residents and tourists. The development features retail areas, lounges, food and beverage spaces, garden activities, and a cineplex.
But one of the highlights of his incredible portfolio is Ardmore Residence. This 36-storey residential property is unique for its “living landscape” concept. According to van Berkel, Ardmore Residence’s textural facade “works in unison with the organization of the individual apartments.” This allows for extensive daylight to enter its residential units while affording its residents a beautiful panoramic view of the city.
According to Heather Carlsen of Design Boom, the residential property aims to “break out the monotony of replicated skyscrapers” of today’s Asian cities. She also adds that “the new generation of vertical architecture with tailored silhouettes, integral plantations, and luxurious amenities for residents combine to form a living landscape.”
Ardmore Residence made headlines in Singapore’s property news due to its innovative, award-winning architecture. This building marks a new generation of high-rise towers in Asia with its aesthetic silhouette and attractive landscaped garden.
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