Super-Sized Apartment Living

supersized apartments at sapphire residences

Defying the trend of increasingly compact urban apartments, a new generation of super-sized apartments is challenging conventional thinking that apartment living means compromising on space and comfort.

Embracing a growing trend for the convenience of spacious elevated living, Sapphire Residences offers some of the largest apartments ever seen in South Asia.

“We recognised a shift in the market whereby more and more wealthy families desire all the premium facilities, service and security that are associated with modern condominium living, but they have no desire to compromise on space, as they have had to in the past,” explains Arun Pathak, Managing Director at WelcomHotels Lanka, the developer of Sapphire Residences and the neighbouring ITC One hotel. “This is why we created the concept of Sky Mansions. These are mega-apartments all on one flat floor with high ceilings, specifically designed to enable families – and, if required, their staff – to live in unrestricted comfort, enjoying similar space that they would enjoy in a standalone home or villa, which provides them with the best of all worlds.”

sapphire residences apartment interior

A world-leading developer of branded real estate is London-based YOO. “We are certainly seeing more supersized apartments,” observes Head of Design Mark Davison, who has been working on the interiors at Sapphire Residences with legendary designer Philippe Starck. “These appeal to wealthy clients that like the convenience and security of spacious, lateral living – especially with the added benefit of in-house concierge and housekeeping services on hand so they do not need to keep large numbers of staff, such as would be required in a stand-alone home.”

Although this remains a niche segment for the super-wealthy, it is by no means a new trend in established markets around the world. “A few years ago, Knight Frank reported that the typical size of a large flat in a luxury London development had increased from 3,000 square feet in 2000 to 5,000 square feet in 2007,” comments Chris Graham, a residential real estate marketing expert. “Five years later, in 2012, it reported that increasing numbers of high net worth buyers were seeking 6,000+ square feet properties.” He points out that the largest apartment in London at Mandarin Oriental’s One Hyde Park by Candy & Candy is a staggering 30,000 square feet, although emphasises that this is a rarity.

sapphire residences interior

In terms of global geography, the ‘super-size’ trend is seeing more traction in Asia and the Far East. Veteran real estate expert Bill Barnett of C9Hotelworks in Thailand comments, “In Asia the trend for ultra-large sky villas is quite niche. It is an urban trend, where aging high net worth families are moving out of their traditional large houses and into apartments, which is where we see places like the St Regis in Bangkok capitalise. And yes, they like lots of space.”

Although not quite on the same scale as Sapphire Residences, another example is The Harper building in Philadelphia, USA where, in response to strong demand from families for larger units, the developer decided to increase the sizes of the apartments by reconfiguring the space within the same total square footage to allow 15% fewer – but much larger – apartments.

This trend is also evident in Sydney. “The demand for larger apartments is certainly a fast-growing trend in Australia,” comments Knight Frank’s Erin van Tuil, who is responsible for marketing the branded residences at Crown’s One Barangaroo in Sydney, where all the apartments offer vast lateral living areas with everything one would expect in a family home. “Two buyer groups are predominantly driving this demand,” she reports. “Typically, we would call the first group ‘Downsizers’; however, it’s clear that this group may want to downsize on the hassle and cost of large family homes but certainly not on lifestyle – they still want space to entertain and have family and friends to stay,” she explains. “The second group is people that have lived in apartments elsewhere around the world and are moving back or to Australia; they appreciate all the conveniences of urban living but don’t want to compromise on space.”

a bathroom of sapphire residences

Similarly, bucking the trend of compact urban apartments is Sydney-based developer Ecove, which is targeting families with its super-sized apartments at One Australia Avenue as the ideal alternative to a family standalone home, offering little difference in space and comfort but more convenience. Erin van Tuil concludes, “The demand we are seeing for these residences confirms a growing trend for people wanting to live in spacious condominiums; they aren’t transient, they are invested in the building and are predominantly owner occupiers.” Sapphire Residences offers a collection of the best apartments in Sri Lanka with spacious and modern designs.

Why not find out what super-sized living feels like? Contact the Experience Centre to arrange a private tour of the Sapphire Residences Sky Mansion show apartment. Experience one of the best apartments in Sri Lanka.

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