All is Flair in living and well-being

The Philippine Star - May 07, 2011

One could imagine gazing down upon Reliance Street from a great height in this soon-to-rise condominium in Mandaluyong City, with Makati, San Juan and Ortigas in the peripheries — wind on one’s face, boxes of lights down below. Or sitting in a comfy spot near the building’s three-storey-high/six-meter-wide patio, airy and well lit — with a cup of coffee and a heavily creased Will Self book. Or just plain loving owning a unit in this two-tower, high-rise residential condominium complex called Flair Towers, the latest development by DMCI Homes.

While other developers would build three structures on 1.4 hectares of land, DMCI Homes, according to its president Alfredo Austria, elected to build two towers instead and allocate a whopping 70 percent of the land area for amenities. A full-size basketball court. Jogging trails. A kiddie playground. A pool zone. Cool cabanas dotting the place. Ah, the life in Flair.

“Even as you enter the compound, andun na ’yung resort look and feel of Flair Towers,” Austria explains.

There is even a roof deck, he adds. (Hmm… not unlike the one in Marina Bay Sands in Singapore where I found myself billeted with my buccaneering artist friends early this year, with Saturday-morning-coming-down moments… but that’s another story altogether.)

“The Observatory, as we call it, has a sky lounge, garden, jacuzzi, even glass panels to regulate the amount of wind that comes in.”

Dig the patios at the front and back of each building, the breezeways at the end of each floor, and the central atriums every five floors. They are an extension of DMCI Homes’ Lumiventt design philosophy: “A combination of several building design features that maximize the natural benefits of light (lumen) and air (ventus). It allows light to enter and fresh air to freely circulate in common areas and even inside residential units.”

Austria amplifies, “Nagiging naturally-lighted ’yung atriums, and may cross-ventilation so nagiging very breezy pati ’yung loob ng buildings. It would allow you to save up on electricity, lalo na sa air-con.” And DMCI Homes’ design technology allows the high-rise buildings to, er, “breathe,” sparing the residents from the restrictive effects of living in concrete surroundings.

A lot of people are sick of “sick buildings.” The lighting and ventilation are artificial; the air-conditioners, the fluorescents are always on — bad for the eyes and “bad air” never finds a way out.

At Flair Towers, what happens is the reverse.

He says, “And our Lumiventt design technology has been proven (to be effective) already. We’ve done this with our Tivoli Garden project also in Mandaluyong. Now, we’ve improved it even further.”

You could just imagine the added costs of providing these features, but the people behind DMCI have taken upon themselves to up the ante when it comes to creating tropical resort-like residential condominiums.

“We try to come up with ways to do these things cost-effectively — through good engineering practice, by getting the best structural designers to work on the buildings, by utilizing the learnings from previous projects. Nag-e-evolve ‘yung design and construction methods namin because (owing to the fact that DMCI is both builder-and-developer) things are done in-house. At tuluy-tuloy ang research-and-development efforts.”

IN ALL FLAIR-NESS

Austria and the other DMCI executives take us on a tour of the model units. The interiors of the units at Flair were designed by Mickey Dacumos, with motifs that range from modern posh (smart, contemporary, clutter-less, with clean lines) and modern tropical, among others, to whatever-the-clients-have-their-hearts-set-into.

The units are designed to give tenants the impression they are living in an honest-to-goodness house: roomier and with natural light streaming from both sides of the area, not just one. Unlike those by other condo developers where Claustrophobia reigns and throws grand parties inside the sick building; you leave your concrete-and-steel office building to enter your concrete-and-steel residential building (from one tunnel to another); and your door opens to another unit, so you feel trapped like in one of those surreal M.C. Escher houses.

The good people at DMCI will have none of that. “Here,” explains Austria, “your door opens into a landscaped atrium — breezy and with natural light. That’s very important for us.”

In terms of location, Flair Towers is less than three kilometers away from major malls such as Shangri-La, Robinsons Place Pioneer, SM Megamall, and The Podium. Nearby is the Boni MRT station and accessible are EDSA and Shaw Boulevard. No need to take leaps and bounds to get to the business districts of Makati, Bonifacio Global City and Ortigas. What a draw for hardworking middle-income professionals working within the area.

Flair Towers happens to be designed primarily for “young, discerning urban families” who want to settle down in this happening part of the city.

Austria concludes, “We believe in the importance of the composition of the communities. In the end, it’s not just about the structure, but about the people living within.”

View details of Flair Towers

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