Architects: Ministry of Design
Location: 15 Tanjong Katong Rd, Singapore
Design Team: Colin Seah, Tulsi Grover, Joyce Low, Angie Ng, Anita Shewchuk, Ron Sim, David Tan, Marcin Skolimowski, Noel Banta, Aliza Suarez, Lolleth Alejandro, Allan Veloso
Project Year: 2012
Project Area: 910.0 sqm
Photographs: CI&A Photography – Edward Hendricks
Singapore has been experiencing a residential condominium development boom in recent years and as a result, architects have been called upon to design a slew of temporary show gallery buildings to facilitate the display and sale of these developments.
Remarkably, instead of the rich design variety one may imagine emerging from such commissions, the majority of show gallery design has been woefully homogenous and formulaic – architecture comprising of awkwardly proportioned cubes of glass, plaster and timber with interior design independent from its architectural edifice, typically styled with uninhibited ostentation and cliched visions of luxury.
In response to this context, MOD’s design for the UOL Edge Gallery explores and redefines the typology of the Singaporean condominium show gallery on several fronts. Commissioned by reputed developer United Overseas Land, the project for the design of a sales gallery and two show flats of a 244 unit residential development is located at a major intersection along Singapore’s eastern city fringe. MOD was commissioned to design a holistic experience including the architectural form, show gallery & show flat interiors, signage as well as key furniture pieces.
Design wise, the building can essentially be understood as a series of white L-shaped walls paired with interstitial vertical glass strips.
The alternating rhythm of L-shaped wall and glass strip create multiple orthogonal edges that contour in harmony with the shape of the site to form the overall building. The glass strips are intentionally turned away from the oncoming traffic flow but still allow for views ports and entry portals to be introduced. The alternating rhythm of wall and glass is continued in the building’s section, peaking at over 7m to allow for a double-height internal space into which the show flats and balconies face, simulating high-rise living. Elevation-wise, the rhythm also continues and reaches out towards the vehicular drop off, tying it with the building visually and experientially – creating a dramatic lead up for the gallery visitor.
Spatially, the design continues to take its cues from the overarching design language, suitably applying it to floor and wall patterns or finishes, furniture and signage. Of the two show flats on display, one is styled and designed to appeal to the lifestyle of a contemporary young family whilst the other is tailored for a single professional in the design industry.
Both the units explore the notion of contemporary luxury and eschew the typical elements of ostentation and ornamentation, updating them for greater relevance in the current climate of understated luxury and authentic material richness.