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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Quality living for the good life

Imagine living amidst wide open space and lush greenery in beautifully designed homes that have a resort feel. In today’s hectic lifestyle, coming home to a place that lets you unwind, relax and spend quality time with your loved ones underscores the quality of life.

Lee Liam Chye is the group chief executive officer of Perdana ParkCity Sdn Bhd.

This desirable lifestyle can be found at Adiva, a development by Perdana ParkCity Sdn Bhd, which unsurprisingly has been declared the winner of the Residential Development Category (Low Rise) by FIABCI for the Malaysia Property Awards 2009. According to Group chief executive officer Lee Liam Chye, “We are thrilled and honoured by Adiva’s success. This is truly a wonderful trophy for our hall of achievements.

“I would like to believe that the judges were influenced by Adiva’s authentic groundbreaking concepts, design philosophy and emphasis on home-making,” he explained. “The result is a charming neighbourhood similar to a tropical resort that rewards residents and visitors alike. I do not think anyone else has attempted, to the same extent, in making a place so liveable.”

Adiva’s design unconventional ideas. As Lee eloquently put it, “With everyone trying to do something different, you have to do something that is opposite if you think that works. After all, if everyone does something different, then what, actually is the difference?”

The design is all about connecting spaces, connecting people and connecting lives to make everyday living special. It teases with a subtlety that surprises you with hidden delights.

The result is a special, guarded and gated neighbourhood with a deep sense of tranquility. Tight security gives residents peace of mind.

Homes blend naturally with landscaped parks that hold delightful surprises.

Go green: A walkway lush with trees makes for a perfect laidback stroll. The neighbourhood also provides a safe place for children to play.

The intangible result is that residents, strangers to each other at first, build lasting relationships to become great neighbours and good friends. This is a truly rare urban social phenomenon aided by interactive communal places and a swimming pool at the heart of the neighbourhood. Lee commented, “I have attended several social gatherings in Adiva over the years. On every single occasion, I have been decidedly fascinated by the closeness and outpouring of warmth evident among the residents. Neighbourly disputes are almost unheard of. This, to me is the supreme reward for our efforts.”

During the conceptualisation of the development, Lee actually did not have any bigger-than-life agenda. What he really wanted was to eliminate the inconvenience and discomfort of terraced house living that he had personally experienced before. He and his team compiled a list of bugs that need to be worked out and came up with the best way to overcome them. More interestingly, Adiva is the first of its kind to offer strata titles instead of the usual land titles. This was an untested idea at the time, which many people thought was unfeasible.

“Looking at Adiva today, my team and I are gratified by how it touches people’s lives and how people have shaped it,” he said.

The trend for holistic living today has permeated the industry. In response to this, Adiva addresses many people’s unfulfilled desire to belong to a place. In town planning lingo, it is a sense of community and sense of belonging. Lee and his team worked diligently to introduce neighbourhood to induce these. For one, a sense of identity is created through differentiated landscaping and architectural elements. As Lee said, “You have to have an identity before a sense of belonging can be inculcated.”

In Lee’s opinion, to fulfill the needs for holistic living a development need to incorporate both tangible and intangible qualities and features. “These are what I feel a development must possess for holistic living. Tangible ones are easy enough to produce-security, welldesigned homes and open space. Intangibles are not so easy as they deal with people’s cultural codes and social needs. Property practitioners are not equipped to deal with this. You need to be a sociologist or psychologist to fathom the working of people’s minds,” he commented.

Stepping into the backlanes means a walk in the park! (left)
Get together: Fostering close neighbourly ties is very important, and what better way to do that than at one’s own backyard(right)

The concept of holistic living styles has not changed much over the years. It is the solutions that have evolved to become better and more relevant to practical requirements and aspirations.

Trends today strongly indicate that holistic living styles are here to stay. However, it is important to understand that holistic living styles cannot be invented overnight. These have to be conceived at the onset of the development. Planning and design DNA are then forged to shape all development initiatives. The substance remains the same, but the expressions of form change according to what the developer perceives people prefer.

According to Lee, “What is implied is that we have a gene pool of sorts that can be relied upon to continuously reproduce spaces, places and homes that will carry on our legacy. That is powerful.”

The success of Adiva can be clearly seen from the response of buyers. Its 160 units, which include unique first-of-its-kind courtyard terraced homes were snapped up in weeks. Today, Adiva’s capital appreciation has doubled and homes are highly sought after in the expatriate rental market. In fact, there are currently about 100 expatriate families living in Adiva, and this number is growing.

Being named the winner for this category, Adiva has set an industry benchmark. Lee said, “We are encouraged and inspired to pursue lots of new, bold ideas for our future projects. People can expect more from us.”

Lee’s advice to budding developers is, “I can only say what works for me. Look out for market opportunities for a quantum leap. Stay true to your beliefs and convictions when you find it, even if it means doing the opposite of what others do.”

By The Star (by Cindy Yeoh - Malaysia Property Award 2009 - Best Residential (Low Rise))

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