House tour: A 7,000 sq. ft., 6-bedroom penthouse on Orchard Boulevard
This two-storey family home in 3 Orchard By-The-Park features a music lounge, poker room, yoga room and outdoor roof terrace for barbecues, pool parties and movie screenings.
Show units provide potential buyers with ideas on how to create liveable, cosy homes from empty shells. And sometimes, an interior designer’s work is so well-conceived and suited to a buyer’s lifestyle that it makes perfect sense for the new owner to keep the interiors and move straight into the already furnished space.
At 3 Orchard By-The-Park, developer YTL tasked interior design firm SuMisura to furnish the penthouse. “The developer’s brief was to create a gorgeous show unit for buyers who appreciate the high life and want to own a rare, freehold super penthouse in Singapore,” said SuMisura’s creative director Angela Lim. “At the same time, we were told to be mindful of what the architect Antonio Citterio had already put into the property, which in itself is a high benchmark of luxury.”
The 7,000 sq. ft. duplex features six bedrooms. Citterio's plan places most of the rooms on the first level and common spaces on the second level, connected by a linear staircase. While spacious, there were some limitations. One example is a glass box in the common area, which houses a courtyard and staircase that leads to the roof terrace and swimming pool. Lim felt that this feature prevented potential buyers from visualising the full extent of the space.
Her solution: an artistic display of Bocci blown-glass lights above the main staircase to draw attention away from the glass box. It makes for good spatial drama as one ascends from the bedroom level to the living room. Together with a mirrored ceiling panel reflecting the skyline, an exquisite backdrop is formed for the living room. The pendants’ luminance brightens the space while presenting intriguing reflections against the surrounding glass surfaces.
The stylish furnishings complete the living room’s sophisticated palette. These include a leather-trimmed brass table lamp from Ralph Lauren and an Armani Casa console with delicate basket-woven details. Organic lines abound to offset the interior architecture’s angularity – these sinuous curves are found in the furnishings as well as on a book-matched marble wall with beautiful veining.
The adjacent dining room has an equally elegant setting. The generous 10-seater dining table accommodates large dinner parties. On the wall, two artworks echo the swirling lines of the carpet while a tiered chandelier accentuates the room’s loftiness as it adds a decorative touch with art deco-influenced nuances.
Turning obstacles into opportunities is a SuMisura trait. This is evident in the corridor leading from the living room to the powder room, where a nondescript and transitory space is now functional and beautiful. “Recognising that this is a passageway that all guests will pass through, we decided to create a library of books and collectables, coupled with a bar that faces a window offering magnificent views,” stated Lim. “The proximity of the bar to the living area also allows the owner to serve guests conveniently.”
Lim also transformed a conventional family room into a music lounge anchored by a white baby grand piano. The otherwise under-utilised space under the stairs was turned into an illuminated display for wines in the music lounge. “Entertainment spaces are areas that will help to distinguish between a luxurious penthouse and a normal apartment,” said Lim. “Having worked for high-net-worth clients and royalty, we understand how to design even the most challenging units for developers, considering some of the most frequently overlooked spaces in the home.”
Hence, one bedroom becomes a poker room and another a retreat for yoga. The previously empty rooftop terrace is made inviting with a retractable roof for protection from the elements, as well as solar-powered lighting and weather-resistant furniture. A pantry, storage and projector have been added to the outdoor terrace to accommodate barbecues and pool parties; the family and their guests can also enjoy watching movies under the stars.
While the home is well-equipped for socialising, it has been just as carefully crafted for comfort and respite from a frenetic urban life. The bedrooms are sanctuaries of calm softened with textured wallpaper and plush carpets, as well as shelving to display personal paraphernalia. Each bedroom has a distinct character, with the master bedroom given a feminine touch through its light palette and classical accents on the ceiling and walls.
The firm also expanded the junior master bedroom by incorporating part of the corridor space to house a L-shape wardrobe. The room is given an edgier palette as it was originally designed for a young couple who might reside here with their parents. The third bedroom incorporates a swivel table and bench that can be parked next to the wall; a gold artwork adds a glamorous touch to the space.
The designer has not only considered how the spaces look but also how they could be functionally optimised. For the owners to acquire the apartment as is and find living here pleasing and cosy is testimony to Lim's design acumen. Even the baby grand piano, originally a prop in the show unit, finds good use for the family. “The owners like the view and find the unit pleasing and comfortable. They also mentioned that the baby grand piano fits well in their home as their kids play the piano,” shared Lim.