How Peter Tay Designed The Midtown Bay Apartments With Spaces For Work And Leisure
Even decades later, interior designer to the stars Peter Tay fondly recalls his time as an architecture student in London, and the insights he gained there. “It made me realise that one cannot look at architecture alone,” recalls Tay, who was inspired by the English capital’s heritage. “One also needs to understand the surrounding sites, and the fabric of the city itself.”
An appreciation of the urban setting would, in turn, result in effective design. “Just as the architecture has to respect the landscape, the interior design must then respect the architecture,” he says. “The interior needs to blend well with the architecture such that it almost disappears.”
The President*s Design Award winner and founder of Peter Tay Studio has worked on offices, showflats and celebrity homes, including the abodes of Wang Leehom, Zhang Ziyi and Zoe Tay. He also launched his eponymous monograph in 2013, which details his signature use of reflective elements to enhance the spatial volume of each of his projects.
Tay was recently tasked with crafting the lobby and show units of Midtown Bay, a new residential tower by GuocoLand that houses 219 luxury apartments. Located within the Guoco Midtown mixed-use development in the Beach Road district, these residences are slated for completion in 2022.
Polished stainless steel and tinted mirrors are Tay’s common design “weapons” of choice. And at Midtown Bay, his vision is fully realised. Reflective ceilings extend the spaces vertically, while the picturesque city views are mirrored in burnished wall panels and high-gloss surfaces.
“Even though the interior space might be tight, the reflective surfaces not only bring the view indoors, but also make you feel like you are outdoors,” he says. He adds that this reflection of the “million-dollar view” outside—overlooking Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer, Marina Barrage and Benjamin Sheares Bridge, depending on which direction one is facing—becomes almost like a piece of art itself. “It cannot be purchased, it cannot be built; it all depends on the location,” he declares.
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Tay has crafted each unit to be flexible enough to accommodate various purposes. “We created spaces that could be used for living, working and entertaining in,” he says. Take the two-bedroom unit: in the day, one bedroom could double as an office, with the living space acting as a foyer or waiting area, complete with sofa.
Additionally, the use of sliding doors lends versatility, opening up spaces for social gatherings and closing off areas for privacy depending on the occasion. The wide balcony becomes an extension of the living space and acts as the dining area, housing a dining table that could act as a meeting table in the day, or a communal spot for parties at night. “Within this small area, we made use of design thinking to come up with these powerful programmatic changes,” he says.
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Marble flooring in a delicate shade of grey underpins a blank canvas just waiting to be adorned. In the showflat, a sofa from Poltrona Frau and Maxalto chairs are among the understated furnishings selected by Tay. “To me, luxury is not about embellishment; it’s not about being loud,” he says.
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