Rising from the heart of Bishan estate is the impressive stepped structure of the epochal Sky Habitat, the seminal creation of internationally-acclaimed architect, Moshe Safdie. Designed to bring communities together, the residential development’s two 38-storey towers are linked by three sky bridges on different levels with spaces that encourage communal recreation. So, it is particularly fitting that for its completion celebration, Sky Habitat brought people together once more.
CapitaLand organised the first-ever InstaMeet by a real estate developer in Singapore that brought together some 1,200 homebuyers and Instagammers at Sky Habitat for a community-themed party. The number smashed the previous record of 350 Instagrammers at an InstaMeet, making the Sky Habitat party also the largest InstaMeet in Singapore.
“Singaporeans are one of the most active social media consumers in the world. As a hugely popular platform for many young people in Singapore and around the region, we believe social media offers great opportunities for CapitaLand to connect with the community,” explained Mr Lim Ming Yan, President & Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited.
At the party, the Instagrammers were taken on an exclusive tour of Sky Habitat where they had the rare opportunity of snapping the iconic development up close and from the inside.
“We Instagrammers are always on the lookout for something new to shoot, something no one else has had the chance to photograph. This event is wonderful because it provides us such an opportunity,” said Dzul Fadzil, founder of Global Family Singapore, the local chapter of the worldwide Instagram community, Global Family.
His wife and fellow Instagrammer, Rabia Jaafar, said, “The façade is especially interesting because of all the angles in the structure. We managed to get some really great shots of the three sky bridges together from one the units.”
Mr Mohamed Herwin Bin Johari, the community manager of Explore Singapore, another influential Instagram community in Singapore which supported the InstaMeet said:“This Instameet is an interesting opportunity for the public and the Instagrammers to have a closer look at one of the newest developments in Singapore. The building itself is a work of art and since Instagram is a very visual platform, organising an InstaMeet at this residential property is very fitting,” he said.
The InstaMeet was a chance for online friends to connect for real as well. Denise Au Eong, a regular Instagrammer, was seen chatting with people she had met through the photo and video-sharing social network.
“I like to explore the non-touristy places of Singapore. I love the sky bridges because it is so open and you can play with so many perspectives shooting from that vantage point,” she said.
Twins Yais and Yafiq Yusman added, “This is a great way to meet new people and connect with those who have the same interests. The people we met through Instagram asked us to come to this party.”
Homeowners, their guests and Instagrammers took part in an Instagram competition that required entries to follow and like @CapitaLand_INSIDE as well as hashtag #skyhabitatparty.
Some 600 photographs were posted under #skyhabitatparty, with Sky Habitat’s three-dimensional matrix of homes with private terraces and common gardens drawing several entries. Within just five hours, they had garnered 18,000 likes. The top three winning entries were rewarded with CapitaVouchers.
“Sky Habitat has shaped the future of city-fringe living with its dramatic architectural stepping form. It is heartening to know some Instagrammers have even taken it upon themselves to document the entire journey from construction to completion, and share the numerous posts with their many followers. This InstaMeet is a way of showing our appreciation by bringing them up close and personal with the development upon its completion. We hope homebuyers and the Instagrammers (as well as their over 430,000 followers) will get a deeper appreciation of the beauty and value of great architectural design,” said Mr Wen Khai Meng, CEO of CapitaLand Singapore Limited.
Sky Habitat is not the only social media darling in CapitaLand’s portfolio. Seven of its developments completed since 2013 - The Wharf Residence, Urban Resort Condominium, Urban Suites, The Interlace, d'Leedon, Sky Habitat and Bedok Residences - have attracted some 5,000 Instagram posts collectively, making CapitaLand’s residential properties the most Instagrammed private condominiums in Singapore. Of the seven, the top three most popular (based on hashtag searches on Instagram for condominiums completed since 2013) are The Interlace, d’Leedon, and Sky Habitat.
“Their keen appreciation of these condominiums is a testament of CapitaLand’s commitment in building vibrant, well-designed, safe and accessible developments which people can instantly recognise and relate to. When space, materials and good design are put together thoughtfully, they value add to the surroundings not only by enriching the cityscape and skyline, but also the life and experiences of the people who interact with these developments," noted Mr Lim.
Coming Together as One
Residents at the party welcomed the unique move to include the Instagrammers, too.
Deepa d/o P N Balji, who bought a four-bedroom unit with her husband because Sky Habitat is conveniently located near schools, the MRT station, the bus interchange, and Junction 8, said, “Capturing these precious moments around this architectural beauty on Instagram is meaningful as you get to revive and share the beautiful memories with the community.”
Homebuyers enjoyed the wide array of activities for the young and young-at-heart. From terrarium-making workshops to caricature drawing, balloon sculpturing, magic shows, Lego-building stations, booths providing home solutions, and a live band to jazz up the mood, the revelers did not want for anything. Adding to the communal ambience were local delights and old-style ice-cream sandwiched between colourful slices of bread.
“We enjoyed the thoughtful activities,” said Amy Mak. “The terrarium-making was particularly interesting.”
“We bought a unit at Sky Habitat because of its central location and its design. Our unit on the 14 th floor is connected to the sky bridge and the gym so it is like having my own private gym,” said her husband, Boh Jik Jye.
“The party is a good way to get us all together and excited about our new home,” said Lim Su Fang who was there with her husband, Yeo Chung Guan, and their two children.
“Our children love the party rooms and the pool with the barbecue pit. Plus it is so near the MRT and Junction 8.”
Some were drawn to Sky Habitat because of its proximity to choice schools.
“My sons are studying in Catholic High. So this is perfect. I also appreciate the opportunity to see the completed development. I can’t wait to move in!” said Lim Yoke Meei.
Connecting with the online community and gathering neighbours for a huge hurrah - for a development built on the vision of bridging communities, Sky Habitat is indeed off to a great start.