Country Club Amenities with a modern tropical theme  

Philippine Star, September 19, 2009

MANILA, Philippines - An ancient Italian town located 30 kms. from Rome, Tivoli is famous for its spectacular gardens. Its reputation as a stylish resort town has inspired others all over the world to come up with their own renditions using splendid monuments enveloped by abundant greenery.

Today, Tivoli's latest incarnation is in the Philippines — a high-rise residential community developed by DMCI Homes. Tivoli Garden Residences, located between the Central Business Districts of Mandaluyong and Makati cities, is a master-planned urban oasis sprawled over a 2.7-hectare property that offers an invigorating lifestyle to counter urban living stresses.

Composed of five high-rise residential towers, the project exudes a modern tropical ambiance designed for its target market of young professionals and startup families. This is achieved through stunning landscaping filled with date palms and flowering plants, and the unique Sky Gardens found on every five levels that further exhibit verdant foliage right inside the building.

Its most pronounced tribute to the Tivoli concept, however, lies at the heart of the complex — the Clubhouse. Upon entering the development, guests are greeted by a massive structure crowned with a dome. The dome follows the shape of a Byzantine martyrium — a structure intended for the housing and veneration of saintly relics, and is an excellent example of middle Byzantine art.

Beyond the dome, the exteriors convey modern architecture with the use of glass walls and streamlined corners, while the white coat on the structure offers the feel of a tropical paradise.

For the interiors, DMCI Homes tapped Absolute Spaces, Inc., a collaboration of architects and interior designers from Manila's most prestigious firms. Since 2005, the partners have ventured into architectural and interior design projects with a repertoire that includes residential, commercial, corporate and retail spaces.

Interior designer Kathrina Hao explains how they enhanced the height and massive space inside the Clubhouse: “We came up with a spiral lighting fixture from Lising Crafts to provide accent and proportion, not just on the upper segment but as it winds down the dome's towering height. These are complemented by the wall and floor lamps to give more ambience to the space,” she said.

The reception area further alludes to the tropical Tivoli Gardens atmosphere. An espresso-stained reception counter matches the onyx stone top. The lounge area features tastefully designed sofas and armchairs that are predominantly wood but still comfortably cushioned.

“The pillows in the lounge area are not as colorful, but they blend with the theme of the space because we want the fixtures to complement and not overpower the view of the gardens outside,” Hao noted.

A favorite of the design team is the Children's Center, a very colorful room sure to attract the youngsters. The play area has small cushioned armchairs and tables that are kid-safe. Artworks and memos can be pinned to a pigeonhole, while animal-shaped pillows add youthful character.

On the second level are the fitness gym and business center. There is also a meeting room with small pantry rendered in orange and beige, which can seat up to 25 people. An air-conditioned multi-purpose hall can hold about 120 guests for corporate and social events.

Rina M. Soriano, DMCI Homes' architectural design manager, says the Clubhouse is just the start of the country club -like amenities residents can enjoy at Tivoli Garden. “We will also develop the roof deck of the Clubhouse and fill it with greens which can eventually be used as an al fresco area for coffee and snack time,” she said.

Aside from outdoor amenities like the lap pool, kiddie pool and Sky Lounge on the topmost level of the Bauhinia tower, additions will coincide with the opening of succeeding towers.

“We will have several amenities on the third tower, Heliconia,” Soriano said. “The ground floor will be an open area with a bar and seating tables that face another pool. When you go up the second level, there will be more air-conditioned function areas that can be used for occasions and gatherings. It will have glass walls for a good view of all the swimming pools. One of our best features is our landscaping, so I wanted the windows to be big as possible to invite the outdoors in,” she said.

Other plans include basketball and badminton courts shaded by huge trees, and a leisure pool in front of Iris (tower four). The buildings will be interconnected by a podium that goes under towers two and three, and another for towers four and five. First tower Bauhinia, meanwhile, connects to the rest of the towers through the Clubhouse.

Soriano added, “We wanted to create a recreational and entertainment hub, something that would stand out, and yet with a structure that would blend with the adjacent high-rise. And if you look at the amenities, they're reasonably sized and well-distributed so that they meet all the needs of our residents.”

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