In theological antiquity, the Garden of Eden was a luxuriant haven of perfect bliss. In the contemplations of learned scholars through the ages, it was the archetypal utopia where everyone lived in sublime harmony and happiness.
While the origins of this fascinating place remain elusive, it is yet possible to envision what the Garden may have been like. And in building the freehold EDEN – a groundbreaking, ultra-luxury condominium – Swire Properties, in collaboration with multiple award-winning architect Thomas Heatherwick, has made a singular attempt at reimagining paradise in Singapore’s prime District 10.
Just as the original paradise was the pre-eminent garden, EDEN has been ambitiously conceptualised as the consummate “Home in a Garden” – which in the words of the architect, combines “the best bits of a house which has a garden with the best bits of an apartment which has incredible views, the potential for air and also the efficiency of being on one level”. The development therefore houses 20 highly exclusive homes, each occupying an entire floor.
Through bold design genius, the traditional box-like layout, typical of many apartments, has been “pulled apart” in a tri-directional manner, creating space for nature to grow right in the middle of the apartment.
The outcome is a biophilic home featuring a large central living space replete with abundant greenery, natural lighting from full-length windows on three sides and true cross ventilation that is a real alternative to air-conditioning.
Every home in EDEN enjoys its own sublimely curved hanging garden balcony, created to soften the building’s geometry. With bespoke attention to details, each balcony is crafted by hand, with beautiful sculptured, polished undersides – the result of extensive testing to find the perfect colour befitting the superlative stature and prestige of the development. It is then slotted individually into place, becoming an apartment’s own garden in the sky, delightfully adorned with a carefully curated selection of plants.
The integration of nature into the apartment gives residents a rare opportunity to connect with nature and enjoy exclusive moments of peace, privacy and tranquillity.
From the perimeter, nature permeates into the entire apartment, first starting with the dramatic front door made from two robust pieces of solid walnut, onto which is carved the topography of Singapore itself. The oak flooring – kindling the warm and welcoming ambience of wood – retains the natural grain and knots for a closer connection to the raw, unsullied beauty of nature.
Evoking the immensity and ancient grandeur of the Earth itself, the bathroom features 180-million-year-old limestone from the Jura Mountains in Germany with unique fossilised imprints intact, while the dry kitchen is decked out with a whole piece of rare Italian marble quarried from the mountains of the Italian city of Carrara, every piece one-of-a-kind and showing off its soft, feathery veining.
As architect Thomas Heatherwick aptly remarked, “We want the person who lives in each one of these homes to be able to smell and feel the qualities of nature around them.”
While the interiors are truly exceptional, the development’s exterior is equally remarkable and thoughtful. Just like the apartment’s main door, each and every concrete slab on the building’s façade is embossed with the geographical contours of Singapore’s terrain, and also features the outline of EDEN and its surrounding neighbourhood, including the famed Orchard Road.
The first apartment is elevated 23 metres above the ground, allowing residents in every home to enjoy panoramic views and excellent ventilation, while a soaring entrance atrium and an 18-metre-high lobby guarantees a grand entrance for everyone privileged enough to enter EDEN’s premises.
In summary, EDEN is an architectural marvel that is truly in a class of its own. Paradise – though said to have been lost by celebrated English poet John Milton – has now been remade here in the heart of Singapore.
For the select elite of the global community, find out for yourselves if EDEN is indeed a home that befits your lofty station in life.
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