Unlocking the Art of Condominium Naming in Singapore
Most probably don’t know that buildings in Singapore follow a comprehensive set of guidelines established by SBNB, the Street and Building Names Board. As a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society, the appropriate naming of streets and buildings in Singapore tries to safeguard public interest and reflect the true identity of the place, where cultural context and heritage are mindfully considered, and offensive or controversial names are avoided. Specific use of symbols, numbers, prefixes and other terminologies is also comprehensively addressed to avoid confusion, misrepresentation or location monopoly. With many considerations in mind, ever wondered how naming is approached in this context?
Aside from public housing, private condominiums and apartments are the next most populated residential developments. Names of these buildings are the first key touchpoints and a main marketing language of the residence, so having a good name that projects the overarching vision and ambience will be helpful in creating a good impression early and attracting prospective buyers.
Unfortunately, naming of these buildings has been treated as simply a label, resulting in the flux of comments saying how bizarre and cringe-worthy many are – too literal with poor meaning, trendy and non-lasting, difficult to pronounce, pretentious, overly repetitive with a French influence (use of D’, La, Le etc.).
In this article, we will look at some naming methods that some private developers have adopted to create a unique and memorable name for their residential developments.
1. Paying Homage
It is the most common approach used by developers, where the name of the condominium is inspired by the building’s geographic locality. In this case, the name will either be an extended description of the location or will infuse word play techniques that show a clear linkage to the neighborhood.
Located at West Coast Drive, NEWest is one of the latest exclusive ventures launched in the prestigious western part of Singapore. The name, an intentional combination of “New” and “West” not only signifies the fresh introduction of its new commercial cum private residential offer, it also proudly emphasizes the property’s geographical locality in the West. The name also offers a secondary expression as it’s also visually readable as “newest”, alluding confidence that it will be residents’ newest ‘piece of paradise’.
THE CLEMENT CANOPY
Inspired heavily by nature, The Clement Canopy is a luxury condominium that is environed with luscious rainforest-like greenery. While the word “Canopy” is a key description of its lush environment and foliage, it is purposefully adopted as an alliteration technique to support the word “Clement”. The word “Clement” in this case is inspired by the condominium location in Clementi, making the name a smart word play and extension of its geographic locality.
Located right next to Punggol Waterway, Singapore’s longest man-made waterway served to increase park and water frontage for housing estates and residents, the Watertown condominium is the first integrated waterfront development that also features a retail and residential component. The name “Watertown” is therefore a tribute to the surrounding waters and waterfront views, but also an expression of its central and strategic location at the heart of Punggol where different communities and residents coincide, and features seamlessly integrate.
Leveraging history and environmental characteristics, the name “Parc Botannia” is heavily inspired by its location in Fernvale and its surrounding parks that give an excellent green and open view. The word “Parc” is French for park or garden, while “Botannia” is a word play on “botany”, which pays tribute to Fernvale as it was known to have sprawling plantations that previously covered parts of the area.
2. Embodying Unique Characteristics
This approach enables developers to highlight certain key selling points of the residential building and environment in a subtle, yet symbolic manner. The name uses words that imply meaningful associations, heartfully capturing and showing one’s own interpretation of these unique characteristics.
The Interlace is one of the most ambitious and iconic architectural residential developments which boasts an expansive interconnected network of living and communal spaces. The apartment blocks are uniquely stacked in a hexagonal arrangement to form large scale open and permeable courtyards, resembling a vertical village with cascading sky gardens. To highlight this unique architectural concept, the name “Interlace” emphasizes the intricate crossing of features and buildings and represents close interactions of the residential community brought by the large communal spaces.
Having once entered the Guinness World Records for having the largest vertical garden in the world, the Tree House is an eco-friendly condominium that boasts multiple green features with commendable water and energy savings. The name “Tree House” aims to emphasize its iconic vertical garden feature, acting as a metaphor to paint a vivid picture of a residence built within the sprawling branches of a strong, tall tree.
A symbol of originality, Scultpura Ardmore is a luxurious condominium located at Ardmore Park that employs a refreshingly bold architectural language and delicately reflects a balance of exterior and interior beauty. A wordplay on “sculpture”, the name “Sculptura” represents the condominium’s beautiful and elegant architectural design, akin to a sculptural work of art.
OUE TWIN PEAKS
An iconic development that consists of two identical blocks situated in an oasis of tranquility, the name “Twin Peaks” emphasizes the condominium’s distinct symmetry and towering heights. The word “Peaks” also serves as a secondary expression for its topmost attainable qualities of sophistication and serenity.
3. Using Foreign Descriptors
Foreign descriptors are often used to exude a certain level of premium and exotic qualities, though at most times it is also an attempt by developers to give these condominiums an edge among other private residential buildings by making the name more relatable to foreign expats or locals who appreciate a foreign touch.
Nestled in serene pocket of Tampines West with a fresh hue of crystal-clear blues and whites, the vivid imagery painted by the condominium is reminiscent of the Greek island of Santorini. The name thereby reflects the distinct blue and white color palette and tropical theme of the condominium, making residents feel they are truly soaked in this foreign atmosphere.
KOPAR AT NEWTON
A brand-new luxurious high-rise condominium, Kopar at Newton dons a beautiful reddish-brown metallic exterior that also sets the tone for the rest of the interior design. The name “Kopar” is Croatian for copper, which exemplifies this exquisite color theme and amplifies its premium features.
A new condominium situated in the heart of Newton, Enchanté is designed to delight residents in every way possible by blending a myriad of nature, leisure and relaxation amenities from within, and offering the convenience and luxury of historic, medical, food and shopping gems nearby. The name “Enchanté” means to be delighted or enchanted in French, capturing the condominium’s alluring and premium residential offer.
CASA AL MARE
Conceptualized as a resort-style condominium near Pasir Ris beach, Casa Al Mare gives off a laid-back, family-oriented ambience and offers residents beautiful glimpses of the surrounding parks and sea. The name “Casa Al Mare” means beach house or summer house in Spanish, fitting of the condominium’s tropical and exotic concept and its geographic locality, Pasir Ris, which also means white sand in Malay.
While most buyers’ decision relies more heavily on components such as location, price and other functional offers, naming still plays an integral role in enhancing the property’s overarching value and giving an edge over others. For a residential development that already has strong offers, having a good name would essentially be the cherry on top, giving a boost to the aesthetic sensibility of the property.