Why I Chose To Review Nouvel 18
This review is a continuation of my current series to find the ideal home in Singapore with a greenery view right in your living room. Interestingly enough, although Nouvel 18 is neither next door to a park nor does it faces one. Beautiful lush green trees still greet you from the balcony of your living room. Why is that so? Well, Nouvel 18 is right next door to Shangri-la hotel. One of Asia’s favourite luxury hotel, set in 15 acres of lush greenery. Add this against the backdrop of the green filled low rise residential enclave at Nassim Road, and you have a continuous layer of vegetation that paints a beautiful green picture. A complete contrast from the heavily urbanised Orchard shopping belt just further down the road.
Background History Of Nouvel 18
Nouvel 18 is located at 16/18 Anderson Road, beside Shangri-la hotel and the next door Le Nouvel Ardmore. In case you are wondering, this Le Nouvel Ardmore was the very same one that broke all price records in 2015. With a price tag of $51million, it was the most expensive condo ever sold in Singapore. The person who acquired this unit was Sun Tongyu, one of the co-founders of Alibaba.
Since then, this record price has become history. The current record of the most expensive condo in Singapore now belongs to James Dyson, who acquired the biggest penthouse in Wallich Residence just recently.
Now, you may wonder why the project names for Le Nouvel Ardmore and Nouvel 18 are so much alike. The reason is simple. Both developments are masterpieces of Jean Nouvel, the very same architect behind these two buildings. Although built by different developers, the decision to award the architectural design of both projects to the same person was a wise one. (Nouvel 18 was a joint venture by CDL and Wingtai, which subsequently took over Wingtai’s share. While Wing Tai solely develops Le Nouvel Ardmore). With this, the critically acclaimed French concept designer came with a solution that benefits residents of both plots. The result is a U-shape formation facing the majestic Shangri-la hotel. Not only does this creates cross-ventilation, but it also gives each unit an incredible view of their surroundings.
Boon and Bane Of Staying Next To Orchard Road
As we all know, Orchard Road is Singapore’s premier shopping belt and attracts a lot of tourists. Visitorships have increased steadily over the years. With numbers get higher year on year, it is not surprising to see much more human traffic in Orchard Road. This increase is a double-edged sword. For businesses, it is a boon, a higher number of visitors mean that they can engage a broader audience and sustain new products and services. When that time comes, Orchard Road will be elevated to the next level, indirectly benefitting residents. However, for particular residents staying closer to the shopping belt, the increase may be a curse. Disrupting whatever little peace and privacy they might have.
The Single Most Important Attribute Of Nouvel 18
With an address at Anderson Road, Nouvel 18 gets the best of both worlds. Firstly, it is tucked away from the ever-busy Orchard Road. Secondly, it is a mere 650 meters(or 8 minutes walk) to Forum Shopping mall. Built-in the 1980s, this mall houses cafes, restaurants and supermarkets. Everything you will ever need is right here. Most importantly, it is a blessing for parents. With the Julia Gabriel Centre, Toys r Us, dance studios and other various activities for kids at the same spot. You needn’t travel anywhere else. Also, since the Forum shopping mall is part of the Orchard shopping belt, it is safe to say that Nouvel 18 is 8 minutes walk to Orchard Road.
With an address this prime, it is rather pointless to show how accessible Nouvel 18 is to the rest of the other locations in Singapore. I will be focusing more on the architectural design of this masterpiece and how thoughtfully it elevates living there to the next level.
Design of Nouvel 18
There are two blocks at Nouvel 18 housing a total of only 156 exclusive homes. While the exterior of both towers consists mostly of glass and steel, block 18 is coloured with a black undertone while block 16 a white one. This colour differentiation gives each tower its own identity. The usage of these colours and materials are timeless and will stay relevant in the years to come.
The facade is constructed of varying sizes of pieces of glass in a squarish/rectangular shape to create a pattern. This pattern does not just end there by itself but successfully integrates with the squarish sky terraces as well. The final product is a repeated geometric pattern that is extremely pleasing to the eye.
Unlikely regular condos, units at Nouvel 18(exception of some at block 16) do not share a common wall with their neighbours. This layout allows more natural light into the house — something to the effect of a bungalow in the sky.
As with all high-end developments, private lifts are expected. But what’s unexpected, are pieces of art lying all-around when you exit the private elevator into the common areas. Here’s a picture of what the private lift lobby looks like, complete with water features.
Facilities And The Wooden-Themed Clubhouse
Housed directly below block 18 is the clubhouse. The clubhouse features a reading lounge, concierge and a fully-equipped kitchen and dining area. The dining area is also right beside the pool, giving you access to the beautiful view while you eat, relax in the company of loved ones.
What’s interesting to note are the walls of the clubhouse. The walls are decorated of timber taken from a railway track in Australia. Incredibly, robust, durable and sturdy, they now have a 2nd lease of life. What’s more, the wood gives the entire clubhouse a cabin feel. Much like a warm embrace. The positioning of the timber planks also follows a similar fashion as the glass pieces of the building facade. Creating a geometric pattern that follows through the entire development. This back to basics use of wood, glass and steel again reinforces the timelessness of Nouvel 18.
From the clubhouse, there are various ways to get to the pool. One is via a hidden wooden wall; the other is via the dining area. Following the wood-based theme of the clubhouse, the wood flooring continues to the pool area as well as the private lift lobbies.
The main facilities beside the pool are the barbecue pits shrouded in lush greenery; kids play area and a small Jacuzzi corner. Fans who love tennis will find a tennis court here. Since tennis courts are never centrepieces, you can find it tucked away behind block 16.
Unit Layouts And Floor Plans
There are various sizes at Nouvel 18 to cater to everyone. From the incredibly spacious two bedrooms + study for the working professionals to the ultra-luxurious four bedrooms + Study for those eyeing for a trophy home. You will be able to find something suitable that match your requirements. There is, however, a greater emphasis on larger unit types. With these four bedrooms + study forming the main bulk of the units there, my review will be solely on them.
4 Bedroom + Study Layout (Block 18)
A total of 69 units, these 2476 to 3337 sqft homes are distributed evenly on both blocks 16 and 18. Although the bedroom number is the same, the four-bedroom configuration in each of these towers is very different. First of all, let’s take a look at those from blk 18, the one with the darker undertones.
In blk 18, the four bedrooms are rectangular and located at both ends of the tower. Bay windows present in every room form a perimeter around the entire house. While some may think this is a waste of space, this creates an indentation that distorts the outside view of the house — making it impossible to “look in”, further enhancing the privacy of the residents. As for the layout at either end of the block, they are a mirror image of each other. The only difference is the view. Stack 06 faces Anderson Road and Shangri-la hotel while Stack 03 faces Ardmore Park. There are some minor variations, so those prefer larger bedrooms have an option to do so.
Photos Taken from Stack 03, 33rd Floor
To give you a better perception of floor level, photos for stack 06 are taken from the 16th Floor.
Photos Of Stack 06. Taken From 16th Floor
4 Bedroom + Study Layout (Block 16)
Instead of a rectangular configuration, the four bedrooms at Blk 16 occupies the entire floor plate. This doughnut-shaped design wraps the living area around the central lift core. Giving a 360-degree view of the surroundings.
Addressing The Elephant In The Room. Will My View Be Blocked?
A common question asked is whether the view facing Raffles Girl’s School will be blocked. After all, the school will be relocating to its new campus in Braddell Road, and the land returned to SLA. There is no way to predict the future, and I cannot guarantee you what is going to happen. However, accordingly, to URA’s master plan, the usage has not changed and still slated for education purposes. Changing this usage planning is a complex process and takes into account things like infrastructure, traffic, soil and a host of other factors.
Assuming the worst-case scenario and the master planning somehow changes in 2024. Instead of a school, the government decides to rezone it as a high rise residential development. What is going to happen?
- Any new housing plot sold via the government land sales program will be on a 99-year tenure. Prices then may make Nouvel 18 look cheap.
- The Anderson site is a massive plot of land at 4.5ha. According to URA’s regulations, maximum building site coverage is 50%. So even if the upcoming high rise development becomes a reality, you will still get 50% of the current views in that direction. Bearing in mind that most units at Nouvel 18 have a 270-degree view, this is not a significant loss.
So, Is Nouvel 18 A Good Buy?
Nouvel 18 is a luxury product, so the benchmark for whether it is a good buy is very different. Using rental yields to determine the market value would be similar to the effect of buying a Rolex watch to tell the time. If you must know, rental yields are around 2%(using three bedrooms as reference) of the property value with 129 units transacted(July 2017 to July 2019) in the last two years. With CDL only releasing a selection for lease, market demand for Nouvel 18 is robust. As more units are put up for sale, the supply of available rental units will diminish significantly. When that time comes, expect to pay a higher premium for rentals.
If you are looking for a freehold property that is minutes walk to Orchard Road, value privacy above all. And want a trophy home that is architectural timeless in the years to come. Nouvel 18 will be one that checks all your boxes.
To understand the luxury that is Nouvel 18, why not book an appointment and experience it yourself. If you require additional information on Nouvel 18 such as prices, balance units, floor plans or e-brochures, do visit our microsite at https://nouvel18.cos.sg.
Other reviews of condos that are right next to a park!
Article contributed by Jerry Wong
Jerry Wong is a realtor with Propnex Realty. He loves coffee, cookies and condos. Most importantly, he loves connecting people to properties and gets enormous satisfaction when they acquire their dream home or make that capital upside in just a matter of months. Buy Jerry a coffee, and he will meet up with you on a 1 to 1 session to share the following
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