There is more to Stratford than meets the eyeBy Emman Cena |Philippine Daily Inquirer
Living in the record-breaking 70-story Stratford Residences is a chance too good to pass up. More than its height, there is more to Stratford than meets the eye. For one, it is an “intelligent and sustainable” building.
Picar Development Inc., the real estate arm of the AMA Group of Companies, and Holcim have joined forces to come up with the project that sets to dwarf other residential developments in the country. At 312 meters, Stratford Residences will rise on Kalayaan Avenue in Bel-Air, Makati, joining the district’s bustling residential and commercial row.
“More than just height, Stratford Residences will set the bar for future luxury condominium developments in the metro,” said Amable R. Aguiluz V, Picar chair, in a recent press launch. Upon completion in 2015, the iconic structure can make its claim as the tallest living space in the country.
As an intelligent building, Stratford Residences will harness the AMA Group’s strongest suit – its information technology department – to power video conferencing and biometrics technology inside the building. Like a future-ready home, the building boasts of remote-controlled lighting system and complete Wi-Fi access for every floor. Security will also be topnotch to accord an equally sophisticated clientele.
The high-rise luxury condominium will house 1,124 fully furnished residential units of 30 to 430 square meters ranging from studio, single-, two- and three-bedroom units and penthouses. Units are pegged at P140,000 per square meter.
Given the massive scale of the project, Picar Development had to ensure that it would use the best materials. For its concrete requirements, cement manufacturer Holcim will use high-strength cement of 12,000 pounds per square inch (psi), four times stronger than the normal cement requirement of 3,000 psi.
The cement mix allows the developers to save on costs for its steel requirements by using high-strength concrete for the foundation and superstructure. Holcim officials also said its cement is designed “sustainable” to reduce carbon footprint.
“This partnership shows our commitment to provide our customers with solutions for their building needs and affirms that we are of the same values with Picar,” said Holcim Philippines chief operating officer Roland van Wijnen.
Employing finest Filipino talents like architect Jose Pedro Recio, Stratford Residences will look like a graceful cascade of folded surfaces from afar. The whole concept takes inspiration from premier skyscrapers in New York City like the Hearst Tower and One Bryant Park.
This accordion-like design, which won one of the best designs by BCI Asia in 2009, is not just for esthetics, though. The building’s curvilinear concept helps in capturing and maximizing the presence of natural and artificial light, said Wilson Sy, a structural engineer. For its height, Sy assured residents that the building would be “sound for earthquakes.”
Stratford Residences will have high-end amenities. Fitness buffs will enjoy the condo’s top-class fitness center. It will make available a meditation garden and a lanai for those who prefer peace and quiet. The condominium will also house swimming pools, a library, mini theater and function rooms.
Model units are available for public viewing at Picar Place on Kalayaan Avenue. Stratford Residences will serve as the anchor structure for the mixed-use complex that will feature retail stores and other commercial establishments such as an international fining restaurant chain Buddha Bar. An eight-level parking is guaranteed for guests and residents.
Makati’s top educational institutions like the Ateneo Professional Schools are located just a few blocks away from Stratford, offering convenience for its future residents. The shopaholics will be closer to the posh Power Plant Mall on Makati Avenue.
Company officials expressed confidence that Stratford like other upscale projects is in good position in the market. Proof is its strong uptake; it has already sold a third of the total units only a few months after it began preselling.
Picar Development was founded by Aguiluz in 2007. It has invested more than $400 million in its current upscale commercial and residential developments.