A New Landmark for a Trendy District

Wilkie Edge is redefining the urbanscape with its unique take on city architecture.

Issue: Mar 2009

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The arts, civic and cultural district near Dhoby Ghaut MRT has been gaining much attention from developers of late, and one of the newest buildings to be constructed here is Wilkie Edge. Owned by CapitaCommercial Trust, the 12-storey mixed-use development is located near the junction of Wilkie Road and Sophia Road, in an increasingly trendy district which sees international students and young professionals calling the area home.

Stylish, modern and compatible with the lifestyle of an international traveller, its residential component Citadines Mount Sophia Apart’hotel managed by The Ascott Group, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CapitaLand, is ideal for those who want a prime serviced residence in one of Singapore’s most exciting districts. With many international and local restaurants, cafes, and pubs literally at your doorstep, residents are spoilt for choice.

Redefining the Urban Space

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The façade lights add visual interest to Wilkie Road
“We had several aims with this project,” says Richard Hassell, principal architect at WOHA, the firm behind the design of Wilkie Edge. “Firstly, to create a unique building with its own identity, avoid the standard "podium and tower" solution, and bring life to the street edge. Secondly, to make visual connections and dialogue with the neighbouring buildings to "mend" the large disjunctions in scale, texture and detail between, for instance, Peace Centre and the conservation shophouses. We also aimed to include as many skygardens and open air corridors as we could.”

At Wilkie Edge, the retail, office and serviced residence components complement each other yet still function as separate entities. An external ‘skin’ of perforated aluminium and a textured curtain wall in louvres and glass wraps around the office and serviced apartment towers, integrating the two. Adding visual interest to the street is a huge media wall – a high-resolution LED that amplifies a moving image into an ever-changing abstract piece of artwork the size of a city block. Describing the media wall, Hassell explains, “The corner is designated as an "illuminated node" in the masterplan. The screen is unique in that it integrates media and architecture. The indirect method of creating the image, by bouncing light off the painted wall, rather than shining the light into your face, makes a soft and gentle image that is very attractive. This is unique. The entire system was developed specially for the building and has not been done elsewhere.”

Not unlike a fluid canvas, each pixel on the media wall corresponds to the glass facade, creating a fabric of colors when viewed at street level. Window openings at the office floors mean that not only does the media wall allow views from the inside, it also allows the incorporation of the silhouettes of those within the building into the dynamic artwork. “Architecture becomes an active participant, rather than a passive backdrop. The building communicates with passers-by, and changes instantly, rather than being something that stays constant for 30 years,” Hassell says.

Communal landscaped roof terraces are a key part of the design that allow for pockets of green throughout the structure, as well as more informal interaction spaces for office workers and residents. A skylight in the retail component also provides shoppers with a glimpse of the lush landscape above, whilst at the same time allowing soft natural light to flood the atrium. In addition to this, large landscaped sidewalks along Wilkie Road provide extensive space for alfresco dining, whilst inviting passers-by to take a break in the shade of the trees.

City Living at its Best

Opened on January 9, Citadines Mount Sophia, the serviced residence component of the complex, provides residents with the opportunity to live, work and relax in the designer apartment of their choice. The full range of studios to spacious one or two-bedroom units offers chic living spaces doubled up as home offices with broadband access, complete with fully-equipped kitchens.

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Studio interior, Citadines Mount Sophia
All apartments offer a stylish home entertainment system with a LCD TV that slides on the wall from the living area to the bedroom to allow for versatility. Recharge in the lounge or workout in the fitness corner, some of the facilities offered at Citadines Mount Sophia.

Though the mall at Wilkie Edge has yet to be officially opened, it has already come alive with some food and beverage outlets such as Starbucks, 7th Storey Restaurant and Food Story now in operation. The office and shopping components’ committed occupancy is at about 70% as of January 2009. Certainly, Wilkie Edge will be a much coveted address as it establishes itself as one of the cutting-edge pioneers of the fast changing landscape in this district.

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