Come 2017, a new integrated development will rise on a piece of vacant land just behind Parkview Square and in front of The Gateway along Beach Road.
DUO by M+S Pte Ltd will comprise two towers with a gross floor area (GFA) of approximately 1.8 million sq ft.
One tower will comprise 660 premium residences while the other will offer prime Grade A office space designed to meet a Green Mark Platinum rating, a five star hotel and a unique retail gallery.
The residential tower will offer studio units to penthouses with three levels of recreation decks and a private basement car park.
Meanwhile, the commercial tower will offer 21-storeys of Grade A offices with a GFA of approximately 688,980 sq ft.
It will also house an observation deck and a retail gallery offering shopping and dining facilities by a lushly landscaped park.
The total GFA will be around 78,300 sq ft.
“We expect to start selling the project early next year. The groundwork has already started. For the costs, it is still too early to say. Suffice to say it will be quite competitive,” said Tan Sri Azman Yahya, chairman of the board of directors of M+S.
DUO will also enjoy easy access to the rest of the city as the development will be directly connected to the upcoming Bugis MRT Interchange that serves the East-West Line and DownTown Line via underground pedestrian linkways.
Award winning design
Unveiling the architect responsible for DUO, Tan Sri Azman Yahya said he has confidence in DUO’s design architect Ole Scheeren as well as his team of local and international consultants despite the challenges of striking a balance on the site.
Indeed, DUO is located next to the historic Kampong Glam district which is home to the Sultan mosque while surrounded by modern office towers.
DUO’s unique design includes leisure zones and gardens that is open 24 hours a day to the public.
These zones act as connector between multiple transport hubs and helps establish a flow of tropical green, leading to lively communal activity.
In the centre of the towers is a plaza that is carved out to strategically incorporate the neigbouring building as part of DUO’s perimeter.
It also forms a new public nexus between the historic Kampong Glam area and the extension of Singapore’s commercial corridor.
“What makes this project particularly interesting and different from others is it is not simply for a single client but for a dual client. It represents a historic collaboration between two countries. There is a symbolic value in that for me as an architect has a specific meaning on how it can come to represent a symbiotic relationship. It is not just simply a one building plus one but rather a sum of its pieces. That was really the ambition that drove the design from the beginning,” said Scheeren.
Scheeren is responsible for some of the most iconic buildings, including the China Central Headquarters CCTV in Beijing, the MahaNakhon tower in Bangkok, Angkasa Raya in Kuala Lumpur and The Interlace in Singapore.
DUO has already been recognised internationally with an award in the “Best Futura Project” category at the recent MIPIM Awards 2012.
This is the second project unveiled by M+S Pte Ltd which is a joint venture between Khazanah Nasional and Temasek Holdings under the land swop deal concluded in 2010.
DUO’s estimated gross development value (GDV) is S$3 billion.
It is expected to be launched in 2013 with a target completion date by 2017.
DUO will be project managed by CapitaLand Limited and UEM Land Holdings.
This article was first published in Property Buyer.