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Thread: The high life

  1. #1
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    Default The high life

    http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/...43286,00.html?

    Published July 25, 2009

    Personal space

    The high life

    A penthouse offers constant breezes, generous amounts of natural light and panoramic views across the city. It is a unique sense of space that is near-impossible to replicate in any other home. By Geoffrey Eu


    FOR anyone who has ever lived the high life - literally, that is - the benefits of a penthouse home in the centre of Singapore are all too apparent. Apart from the constant breezes, generous amounts of natural light and panoramic views across the city and beyond, there is a unique sense of space that is near-impossible to replicate. If the penthouse happens to be located in a well-designed building, those advantages are automatically enhanced, and that's a primary reason why Tammy Wong and husband Jonathan Chan chose their current home in an award-winning building, which has been touted as a 'genuine tropical skyscraper', with unique design features such as perforated metal cladding and updated monsoon windows that allow for natural ventilation even during heavy rain.


    ECLECTIC
    Tammy Wong has an affinity for old-fashioned items like rotary dial telephones, vintage furniture and 'neglected pieces that most people will not pick'





    LIGHT AND AIRY
    With high ceilings, natural light and about 2,500 square feet of indoor space, the penthouse is reasonably compact but entirely livable for a family of three, plus the family pets - two labradoodles and a toy poodle










    They're not exactly architecture junkies, but they do appreciate good design, and that's why the artistically inclined couple - Wong is a choreographer of modern dance while Chan is a doctor - has made it a point in the past to live in homes that are especially sensitive to their environment, including a lower-floor apartment in the same building and a Peranakan-style shophouse in Katong.

    Their current abode in the Newton Circus district is a departure from a conventional penthouse layout, occupying the equivalent of four floors in one corner of the building and giving the space a sort of townhouse-in-the-sky effect. It is characterised by a narrow spiral staircase that extends from the living room on the lowest level to a rooftop garden four floors up, which features a wooden deck, a lap pool, and those glorious views - extending all the way to the sea several kilometres distant - that make the journey up those stairs so worthwhile.

    On the way up, visitors will pass the second storey - where three of the four en-suite bedrooms are located - and a third level that solely comprises a small landing (the extra ceiling height is used to conceal utilities and to serve as support for the swimming pool).

    The first-level kitchen is small, functional and features a glass wall that looks into the living room. There is also a small patio at a corner outside. An eclectic collection of artworks, mainly by Singapore artists, hangs on walls throughout the home.

    'My husband and I enjoy architecture a lot,' says Wong, who is the artistic director of the dance programme at the LaSalle School of the Arts and confesses to having a sense of adventure when it comes to the homes she lives in. 'I love art but my brother was a better painter so I did dance instead.' She adds, 'The space that you live in can represent an artful way of living, and that's what we tried to do.'

    After living for a short while in a lower-floor apartment, Wong says she decided to give in to the romantic notion of living in a conservation shophouse, so they found a conservation house to purchase and restore. 'I needed the neighbourhood to be a bit more eclectic and bohemian, to convey a sense of artsy living,' she says. 'I'm Peranakan, so it was very special to move into that house.' But then Wong, who goes horse-back riding almost every day, began to find the commute to the Polo Club a bit too much of a bother. 'I enjoy moving around a lot, and much to my husband's horror, I started looking around again for a new place to live.'

    Having spent several years in cities across the US studying dance and also performing - including New York City where she met her husband - Wong was accustomed to being on the move and also personally maintaining every home she lives in. She chooses not to hire domestic help because she wants to teach their 13-year-old daughter Summer how to take care of herself, she adds.

    'I don't have to worry about any space I move into - I'll make it my home,' says Wong, who has an affinity for old-fashioned items like rotary dial telephones, vintage furniture and 'neglected pieces that most people will not pick'. Furniture of choice in the living areas include 1950s and 60s armchairs and sofas upholstered in period fabrics and tables with a similar period look.

    'I just really enjoy putting things together, and I'm used to working on a tight budget,' says Wong. 'I'm not into the contemporary look - as you grow older, you hone your eye and taste and focus on certain things.' She adds, 'I like things that have a sense of history, but not so much that the history weighs you down. My taste veers towards something masculine - I am the quintessential tomboy.'

    The home is light, airy and inviting. With about 2,500 square feet of indoor space, it is also reasonably compact but entirely livable for a family of three, plus the family pets - two labradoodles and a toy poodle. 'A space has to be sensitive to the environment it exists in,' says Wong. 'This apartment works well on the fringe of the city and we like the high ceilings and natural light.'

    Wong, who ran her own dance company a few years ago, says the lessons she learned in the studio - discipline, dealing with physical and mental challenges and the ability to channel a sense of calm - have served her well in her personal life as well.

    'As a choreographer, you deal with elements like space, time, shape and motion, and it can all be applied to the living space,' she says. 'I thought, 'Well, I'm an artiste, I should live this way if possible' - it just adds texture to your life and makes the whole experience more enjoyable.'

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  2. #2
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    Any good suggestion on D9/10/11 properties that are inland but have seaviews?

    D15 are currently priced so high that it makes more sense to buy a prime district instead.

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