By JOHN LEGASPI
Have you ever wondered what it would feel like waking up on a cloud, drive through a forest of the lush trees, and chill in an oasis mirroring the exotic Amazon? Views and sites like these may require a trip to the countryside or a flight across the seas.
But what if you can find that kind of living in the city?
ST 6747 Resource Corp. (STRC), a joint venture between SMDC and Federal Land Inc., promises just that. Dubbed as the new jewel along Makati City’s skyline, The Estate Makati involves working with the world-renowned Foster + Partners.
The Ultimate Partnership
The geniuses behind the Hearst Tower in New York, the Hong Kong International Airport, and the Wimbledon Stadium in London, Foster + Partners has been creating magnificent structures all over the world, integrating technology and green practices in all of their works.
Under the helm of Norm Foster, the award-winning British architectural and engineering firm pioneered the movement of sustainable design, urbanism, and structural innovations in the globe. And with The Estate Makati being the inaugural work of the company in the country, the project will put the Philippines in the league of countries all over the world that house a prestigious piece of innovative engineering. “Foster + Partners encompass that very unique combination of function and form,” says Hans Sy, Jr., president of SM Engineering, Design, and Development. “That’s very important because the real estate design process is not just simply putting lines and sketches on paper. There is a lot of personal vision and character that go into it. That perfect vision of form and function, something that we ourselves will be proud of living, drove us to choose Foster + Partners to be our partner.”
Paradise You Can Call Home
An ambitious piece of property to be erected in Makati, The Estate will be composed of 53 floors, housing a total of 188 residential units, ranging from spacious 151-square-meter two-bedroom flats to a massive multi-level 763- square-meter super penthouse suites.
Building a tower among towers, Foster + Partners started the design process by studying the topography of Makati, including the patterns of the sun and wind that hit the city. The architectural firm aimed to design the units to have minimal exposure to the sun’s rays, literally saying it was “shaped by the sun.”
“As the sun in the Philippines is quite strong, we designed the windows to be angled a certain way so that it doesn’t spill into the unit but still provide enough light, without compromising the breathtaking views of the Makati skyline,” says Luke Fox, head of studio and senior executive partner.
Using the double slab technology, each unit will give its owners a chance to customize their space. “If we want to make sure that this unit will stand the test of time, owners would have to be able to change it up at their will,” says Hans.
The local architect consultant, Gary Coscuella of WV Coscuella and Associates, adds, “It’s different in the sense that nobody has this kind of building up to this standard with regards to full double slab.” By concealing things like utilities, plumbing, and electricals in between double slabs of concrete, the unit layout can be customized according to the wishes of its homeowners. The double slab system will make it easier for renovations, allowing the space to adjust to the ever-changing needs of its dwellers.”
A home is nothing without privacy and exclusivity. With that, The Estate Makati is planned to have elevated driveways called cliffs (one story high), covered with overarching trees native to the Philippines, hiding the busy roads of Ayala Avenue. The natural tranquillity continues to the reception made with materials such as natural stones, marbles, and local furniture, in a palette that will suit the Filipino taste.
One of the distinct features of the property’s lobby is its Pavillion Lounge that’s replete with a sunken garden, which can be seen outside and inside of the lounge. Designed with large lily pads, exotic fishes, and other aquatic elements, the water level of the sunken garden matches the height of the lounge seats, giving a perfect view of the Amazonian oasis. “We don’t want people to just be in their own units and just stay there,” says Architect Gary. “We want
them to be able to interact with the other people living in the building. We want to build a community within the property.”
Unit owners can indulge themselves with the array of amenities The Estate Makati has to offer, from the business center for meetings and gatherings, the party room and pool deck for grander celebrations, and a taste of the city breeze in sky gardens on various floors to a high-end wine tasting lounge. Plus, it has a helipad for those who want to go above the metro traffic.
The Benchmark for Future Residences
For this project, the team’s guiding philosophy will be “The House receives, the House provides,” where all the benefits of living in a serviced residence or apartment are taken to the next level.
“This will be the benchmark for residences to come, not just in design but in construction,” says Gary. “When you say home, it means a place where you can entertain, where you can escape the hustle and bustle of your day at work. All these things are taken in consideration in building this home. It is not a shelter, it is home.”
The target of completion for the Estate Makati is 2022.