Text by Eugene Tan

With news that the development New Futura could launch in 2017, it is timely to recall Singapore's second ever condominium, Futura.

Futura Apartments on Leonie Hill (Photo credit: Wong Yunn Chii, Singapore 1:1)

Completed in 1976 at a cost of S$6.5 million, Futura featured 69 of the "bungalows-in-the-air" which its architects, Timothy Seow & Partners, became renowned for. This was achieved through the use of split levels and a pinwheel parti which pulled each apartment away from a central service core, maximising both views and privacy.

Futura Apartments Typical Floor Plan

The sense of exclusivity was also furthered through the use of lifts which opened directly into individual apartments; it was the first time in Singapore that lifts had been used in such a manner. Its three double-storey penthouses took luxury to a different level and were equipped with a private sauna, swimming pool, and landscaped roof terrace.

Through the use of geometry and the architectural section, each apartment was also able to contain a number of discrete spaces and episodes, allowing an otherwise limited space in the sky it to feel larger and that much more mysterious.

Illustration of Futura Apartments living area

Though Futura is known for its visual association to some of the most forward-thinking projects being dreamt up around the world in those years (see: the work of Ant Farm or Torres Blancas in Madrid by the architect Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza), the team behind Futura could be commended for finding the methods to realize its distinctive geometries and vision of residential life, making it not simply a utopian proposition, but a practical one as well.

Elliptical balconies and living areas under construction.

In 2006, and amidst Singapore's "en bloc fever" of the mid-noughties, Futura was sold en bloc for S$287.3 million to City Sunshine Holdings, a subsidiary of City Developments. It was demolished in 2012.