Dora Chng, general manager, residential, GuocoLand, receiving the Top Development award for Martin Modern from Simon Wong, managing director of Geberit (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Located just a stone’s throw away from Robertson Quay in prime District 9, Martin Modern, GuocoLand’s 450-unit luxury condominium along Martin Place, received its temporary occupation permit last year.
The two 30-storey, high-rise towers that make up the 99-year leasehold development are striking to look at. Designed by the principal of ip:li Architects, Yip Yuen Hong, in collaboration with ADDP Architects, they feature a distinctive façade consisting of corrugated, pre-cast concrete panels that provide a rugged look.
According to Yip, a four-time President’s Design Award Winner, the rawness of the design pays homage to the site’s history. In the past, the area was part of a warehouse district that serviced the nutmeg plantations that existed then.
Martin Modern, GuocoLand’s 450-unit luxury development along Martin Place, received its temporary occupation permit last year (Picture: GuocoLand)
The strong architectural design of the buildings provides a sharp contrast to the lush, verdant landscapes that surround them. Up to 80% of Midtown Modern’s 171,535 sq ft site is dedicated to greenery, with 15 curated gardens that house over 200 species of plants and 50 species of trees and palms.
The visually arresting design of Martin Modern’s architecture and its artful landscaping are among the various features of the development that impressed the judges at this year’s EdgeProp Singapore Excellence Awards. Martin Modern scored an outstanding five wins at the awards ceremony held on Oct 21, clinching the titles of Design Excellence, Landscape Excellence, Sustainability Excellence, Innovation Excellence and Top Development.
From left: GuocoLand’s Dora Chng, general manager, residential, and Jois Phoo, general manager, product development & project management, with the Design Excellence, Landscape Excellence, Sustainability Excellence and Innovation Excellence awards for Martin Modern received from Tang Kok Thye, associate partner, ADDP Architects (Picture: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore)
Sanctuary in the city
The large allocation to greenery plays a big part in the overall vision for Martin Modern, which was to create a sanctuary for residents that provides a respite from the fast-paced nature of urban living. Envisioned as a botanical garden in the city, Midtown Modern was designed to be a peaceful enclave that residents can retreat to.
This philosophy is apparent from the minute one enters the grounds. Residents and visitors are greeted by tall walls and expansive green spaces, which the developer says help them adjust from the hustle and bustle of the city to the more tranquil, relaxed environment of Martin Modern.
Tang Kok Thye, associate partner at ADDP Architects, says that the meticulous care taken to ensure a memorable arrival experience is one of the reasons why the development stands out to visitors. “The lush landscape is something that people who go to Martin Modern appreciate,” he observes.
There are 15 gardens at Martin Modern, spread across three levels (Picture: GuocoLand)
Showcasing botanic heritage
Martin Modern’s landscape was designed by award-winning landscape architecture practice ICN Design International, whose inspiration for the development was shaped by the site’s sloping terrain. Guided by the surroundings, ICN Design decided to create a multi-tiered landscape, spreading the development’s 15 gardens across three levels.
The firm also crafted a landscape design that showcased Singapore’s botanical heritage. Taking inspiration from parks and gardens in Singapore, including Fort Canning Park, the Singapore Botanic Gardens and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, ICN Design created a variety of green spaces such as a forest trail, a maze, rain gardens and a bamboo grove path. Each garden was designed to have a distinct look and feel, using a variety of plants with different shades and textures.
The drop-off area (Picture: GuocoLand)
Tucked within the grounds are the condominium’s facilities, which include a tennis court, a 50m lap pool, a jacuzzi, a gym and a function room. Gardens were also created at the crown of each tower. Dubbed “secret gardens”, the rooftop landscaping provides residents with a serene space overlooking scenic views. The roof gardens also have reading areas as well as dining pavilions that can be used to host private parties.
Designed with occupiers in mind
Units at Martin Modern comprise two- to four-bedroom apartments measuring from 764 to 1,798 sq ft. Space and functionality were key considerations when it came to layout design. While unit sizes for residential developments tend to average around 753 sq ft, units at Martin Modern have an average size of around 1,066 sq ft, according to the developer.
The dining lounge (Picture: GuocoLand)
Common bedrooms were designed to be big enough for a queen-sized bed, with the master bedroom able to accommodate a kingsized bed. For units that come with a study, a single bed can fit in the room, allowing it to double as a guest room.
Care was also taken in deciding the orientation of the tower blocks. As such, all 450 units have unobstructed views of either the gardens, the city or the Singapore River. Generous balconies were provided for each unit, which can serve as an extension of the living space. Select units at the development have two balconies, allowing residents to enjoy two different views while also enhancing cross-ventilation.
The façade of the development features corrugated, pre-cast concrete panels that provide a rugged look (Picture: GuocoLand)
Beyond layout efficiency, GuocoLand ensured that the interiors and fit-out of apartments reflect “the modern aesthetics and refined tastes” of those residing at Martin Modern.
Luxurious materials were integrated into the design, including full marble wall and flooring for the bathrooms and mosaic marble flooring for the balcony. The balcony also features a perforated aluminium screen that allows for more privacy while ensuring better light and ventilation.
All units are decked out with luxury fittings including Miele kitchen appliances, a SMEG refrigerator, Laufen sanitaryware, Axor bathroom accessories, and a Geberit smart water closet. To enhance residents’ convenience and comfort, every unit comes with a wireless smart home-ready hub, which allows for the integration of multimedia systems that can be used to remotely control lighting and air-conditioning.
The two towers each feature a roof garden that offers scenic views (Picture: GuocoLand)
When Martin Modern was launched for sale in July 2017, the project saw robust response, with about 90 units sold during its launch weekend. Since then, the luxury development has been fully taken up, with an average transacted price of $2,506 psf based on caveats lodged.
The success of the project also marked the beginning of GuocoLand’s “Modern” series of residences. In March 2021, the developer launched Midtown Modern, the 558-unit integrated development along Tan Quee Lan Street in Bugis. More recently, Lentor Modern, the 605-unit integrated development in the up-and-coming Lentor Hills Estate, became the third project to debut under the series.
According to GuocoLand, the series defines a modern luxury lifestyle through the use of architecture that is timeless and classic; efficient and adaptable layouts that support living, working and entertaining at home; a strong focus on wellness through accessibility to nature; and shared amenities to promote social activities.
Units overlooking the 50m lap pool (Picture: GuocoLand)