The recently launched The Estate Makati, a residential property that broke ground January this year in between Discovery Primea and The Ritz on Apartment Ridge Road, Makati, promises to bring “Forbes Park exclusivity and privacy” to the high rise setting. Not only that: it also promises its future residents a Forbes Park arrival—think driving under a stretch of overarching trees on their way out of the property and on their way in.
The pitch, it seems, is working. As of last week, a little over 50 percent of the 188 units are already sold out (selling started only last December, a month before groundbreaking). An average unit is going for somewhere around Php 92 million, or Php 575,000 to 600,000 per square meter, depending on the unit (the premium three-bedroom unit costs a bit more). Estimated turnover will be 2023.
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The promise of Forbes Park luxury is actually just a fraction of what the people behind The Estate Makati are offering prospective buyers. The structure is a very ambitious project, which explains why it needed two of the country’s foremost business families to join forces: SMDC and Federal Land, Inc. To design the building, the two tapped the services of award-winning architectural firm Foster + Partners which is responsible for the Hong Kong International Airport, The Gherkin in London, and the Hearst HQ in New York, among many other landmarks abroad.
It’s a building “literally shaped by the sun,” said Perry Ip, one of the project principals. Which means the structure was designed so that exposure to the sun’s rays is kept to a minimum. “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,” said Luke Fox, Head of Studio and Senior Executive Partner, who is leading the project.
We don’t know about “the Makati skyline” (breathtaking, really? I guess it takes a foreign eye) but the rest of The Estate Makati’s features seem not only luxurious but practical, smart and forward-thinking. As Hans Sy, Jr. said at the launch, when they envisioned the project, they knew they were “designing for the future.”
The Estate Makati has 53 floors above ground. The units range from spacious (151 sq.m. two-bedroom flats) to massive (multi-level 763 sq.m super penthouse suites). Hidden inside each of the units is the architectural feature called the double-slab technology. It’s not exactly the latest in tech but, adds Sy, this will be one of the first global applications of the feature in a residential project.
As per their press materials, this is how the double-slab technology works: utilities, plumbing, and electricals will be hidden in between two slabs of concrete, and the unit layout can be customized according to the wishes of the homeowner. They’re calling the units “lots in the sky” – each a unit without columns or partitions; each flexible and customizable.
Designing for the future, according to Sy, is not just foreseeing how the world will operate in five, ten years time or so; it is also taking to account that homeowners undergo their own personal transformations. “One of the things we asked ourselves is how do we make this whole 'ability to adapt to change' a reality,” Sy said. “And that is where the double slab system of the entire structure came about. We basically asked ourselves, If we wanted to make sure that this unit will stand the test of time, you would have to be able to change it up at your will. How can we make it so flexible? If I was a 20-year-old guy with a bachelor lifestyle, I could have a jacuzzi, I could have my own very large bedroom, a unit very dedicated to the entertainment aspect. As time goes by, you settle down, you marry, you might need to give up that jacuzzi, you might need to swap that for a, you know, nursery.” At The Estate Makati, each unit is designed so that the owner is able to reconfigure the layout of his house when he wants to.
The rest of the high rise’s features suggest Sy and company thought very carefully of the real challenges of condo living: the façade overhang of about one meter extending from the structure between every floor means the building provides its own shade; the use of double-glazed windows throughout the structure is to reduce the flow of heat and external noise entering the building; because it’s a cross-shaped building, from its core extend each of the four wings, making each unit a desirable corner space. “One of our central principles is no unit is weak,” added Sy. “We really took into account every unit cut that we have here and asked ourselves, Is this weak? What would make people think this unit is subpar compared to the rest?”
More features the one percenters will enjoy once they move in? A helipad; spacious elevators, one of which is large enough to accommodate a horizontally-oriented stretcher in the event of a medical emergency; the condo staff takes care of daily tasks including receiving residents’ food delivery and mail parcel deliveries, and can accommodate requests that include housekeeping, catering, and laundry needs. Finally, The Estate Makati says it is prepared for a future where electrically-charged vehicles are an everyday reality.
“We knew electric vehicles are coming into play,” said Sy, citing three of the biggest car brands—Audi, BMW and Mercedes Benz—getting into the electric vehicles business. Every unit allocation at The Estate Makati, according to him, will have a provision for an electric charging system.
“We just want to be very future forward,” Sy said in closing. “The challenge was to deliver a project that will stand the test of time. How will people live ten years from now? It’s not one for us to dictate but one for us to try and predict.”
All photos courtesy of The Estate Makati.