2020 UDAD 🏆 Awards

Winner: iLiv@Grange | Mercurio Design Lab S.r.l.

iLiv@Grange, a 16-storey residences, located at Grange Road, Singapore, is situated between two high rise towers. Due to the proximity and height of the neighbouring residential complexes, designing a building with a character that would stand out but not aggressively demand attention becomes a challenge. Aside from this, the project was already ‘a work in progress’ when MDL was called in to design a structure to match the proposed ‘iconic’ interior design by Philippe Starck’s Yoo Studio.

Urban Design & Architecture Design Awards 2020

Housing Multi-Family

Mercurio Design Lab S.r.l.

Massimo Mercurio

Design Team
Kimberly Liu



©Mercurio Design Lab S.r.l.

Although the marketing of the property later suggested that the design had been inspired by the Calla Lily, a tropical flower native to southern Africa, the shape actually owed more to the female human form ─ think Matisse’s ‘Blue Nude.’ This results in two intersecting elliptical fuses, an intriguing visual conundrum which also hints at an underlying symbolism ─ perhaps the symbol of infinity or perhaps the number eight which is propitious in Chinese culture. The highly sensual, volumetric and curvilinear exterior of the development does not just complement the interiors as required by the brief, but also serves to neutralise the building’s scale disadvantage vis-à-vis its neighbours.

The curvilinear feature is enhanced by horizontal and vertical elements which generate variety and texture, giving the complex a powerful sculptural presence. Its voluptuous image is accentuated by expressed curved ribs, which lead the eye upwards to the gently folding conclusion above the roofline. In counterpoint with these vertiginous ribs, is a horizontal lattice of brown louvres providing privacy and sunscreening, and accentuating the distinctive nature of the building by creating a sense of unity to the façade.

Adding to the sensuality of the exterior is the way the first three storeys surge organically in and out, cantilevering out as far as six metres and providing a dynamic canopy for the porte cochère. From inside the apartments, these apron-like forms serve to enhance the scenery and, combined with the balcony planter boxes, create a sense of being in a house among the trees. The buildings aims to simulate living in a landed house with views out to its own private garden,  and with the common areas largely naturally ventilated and lit, with recycled timber used in interior spaces and the common pool deck.

Moreover, the organic make of the iLiv ensures that every floor plate is different. One elliptical stack consists of maisonettes containing two bedrooms and a double- height living / dining space, while the second stack consists of three-bedroom and studio apartments. There are also two penthouses, each with its own spectacular curving pool.

iLiv@Grange, although acquired when it was already a ‘work in progress,’ is consistent with MDL’s philosophy. It shows a unity of the exterior and interior design where the dynamic sensuality of the building’s outer form blends with the inside, ensuring constant visual stimulation. More importantly, as the architectural design presents a roundish shape form which softens and enhances the introduction of a new structure to the site, iLiv@Grange becomes a beholding sight, one that stands out among its neighbours.

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