Orchard Road, Singapore has been quiet and stable in terms of development since the completion of Ngee Ann City in early 1990s. No development of big scale was launched in Orchard Road since. Now Orchard Road has been active and buoyant again after Orchard Turn Development announced its ION Orchard development followed by announcement by Far East Organization on Orchard Central.
Orchard Turn Development is a joint venture between CapitaLand and Sun Hung Kai Properties from Hong Kong.
ION Orchard is the flagship development of Orchard Turn Development on a last piece of land along Orchard Road above Orchard MRT. The land is on 99 years lease. The construction cost of this development is S$700 million.
ION Orchard also means “I on Orchard” giving the visitors a sense of belonging and vibrancy of shopping at Orchard Road especially in ION Orchard itself. It is set by the Orchard Turn Development to be “centre of gravity” which attracts visitors to its place.
There are 2 components i.e. ION Orchard and Orchard Residence. ION Orchard will be shopping mall whereas Orchard Residence a high rise condominium. Both are being built together at the same time.
Orchard Residence is 218 m high making it the tallest building along the Orchard Road. It has 175 units including 4 penthouses. The condominium starts at 9th floor and ends at 54th floor.
After completion, it will have 441,700 square feet gross floor area and 663,000 square feet retail space. Based on these figures, it is larger than Ngee Ann City.
It is designed basing on a futuristic concept. It has some unique features and new ideas which will definitely attract visitors from all over the world.
It will have media facade on its 117m frontage. It has a multi-sensory canvas media wall. It will employ media architecture to cover its entrance facade. This screen will showcase the related brands. It will be a platform where live global events and multimedia events can be telecast.
ION2 wil be world largest sheltered public square. It spans 33,000 square feet. Some 200,000 pedestrians are within its immediate vicinity.
ION Art will be exhibition gallery located at 4th floor of shopping mall. It will be exhibition of exclusive arts and cultural events.
ION Sky, an observation deck will be located at 55th and 56th floors (218m), having a panoramic view of Orchard Road and surrounding areas.
It will have 660,000 lettable areas which can accommodate 400 retail outlets. Now it already has 6 flagship stores i.e. Cartier, Christian Dior, Dolce & Galbana, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton and Prada.
Different from ION Orchard, Orchard Central being another gigantic development along Orchard Road, is a pure retail building. It is based on futuristic concept of “out of box” shop space. After completion, it will be Singapore first “vertical mall” of 11 storey above ground plus 2 basement.
Located next to Somerset MRT station, it has some state-of-the-art features.
It has a food haven at the highest point. Visitors may find specialty restaurants which serve international cuisines. Customers will have a choice of indoor or outdoor dining.
It has a 160m long Orchard Road frontage. Conventional foyer is eliminated. Visitors and shoppers may walk into the shops from the pedestrian walkway.
There will be no anchor tenants like department stores, supermarkets or cinemas. It however, offers creative store formats like underground shops, ramp shops, duplex units and suspended shops.
It has 3 open air balconies overlooking Orchard Road. They will be slated for outdoor seating and for F&B outlets.
Exceptional 7m high headroom at level 1, level 4 and level 7 are designed as common areas for gathering and social activities.
The most striking feature at Orchard Central will be its 11 storey high “faceted membrane” wall functioning as massive media wall. It is designed to be symbolized feature at the junction of Orchard Road and Killiney Road. It will create aural and visual vibrancy to Orchard Road. Eventually, it will become a distinctive landmark where people will talk about and meet each other.
Similar to ION Orchard, Orchard Central will have 400 shops and food outlets. It will attract luxury brand tenants to establish their flagship concept stores.
Orchard Central is targeted to be operational by 4th quarter of 2008 whereas ION Orchard by early 2009.
When both ION Orchard and Orchard Central are operational, one may see Orchard Road is injected with new life, rejunevated, full of energy and definitely ranks the topmost shopping paradise yet to be caught up by other cities in the world.