‘Hidden gem’ in one-north R&D hub
Going beyond the work-live-play concept, JTC planned and developed one-north in Queenstown as an ecosystem for high-tech companies to come together to create a work-live-play-learn environment.
Conceptualised in 2001, the research and development hub was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, and has so far brought in about $8 billion in investments.
The hub seeks to nurture high-tech entrepreneurial businesses and to create an environment for start-ups to take flight. Its name refers to Singapore’s geographical location, 1 degree north of the Equator, and is made up of eight distinct precincts such as Biopolis, Fusionopolis and Wessex.
The Wessex residential area, which was built during the colonial era in the 1940s, is a leafy, laid-back enclave of 26 blocks of walk-up apartments and 58 semi-detached houses near Portsdown Road.
Mr Joseph Khong says the amenities in the 200ha development make a big difference for people working in the area. “one-north is certainly not a boring or grimy industrial area,” says the 30-year-old assistant director and head of engagement and communications at Action Community for Entrepreneurship (Ace), a non-profit organisation located there.
“It is often buzzing with activity, with specially curated amenities by JTC and the relevant stakeholders. Timbre+ restaurant bustles during mealtimes, offering a place for founders, venture capitalists and those working nearby to connect and mingle, even after office hours,” says Mr Khong.
He adds that the amenities are important in helping workers stay connected and positive, in view of rising mental wellness concerns because of the pandemic.
“While they rejuvenate the workplace and contribute to employees’ well-being, they could also serve as a place where new and great ideas are generated,” he adds.
Wessex was also the perfect location for entrepreneur Nicole Chen’s new dining venture, Under Der Linden, at 5B Portsdown Road.
She is aiming to combine floristry with dining. This is her second restaurant after Le Jardin (meaning “the garden” in French) located in Fort Canning Hill, which she opened last September.
“When I first saw the area, it didn’t look or feel like Singapore to me,” says the 33-year-old, who is also the founder of floral studio-cum-cafe Cafe de Nicole’s Flower in Telok Kurau, which she launched in 2017.
“It has this quiet, charming ambience and reminds me of towns in southern France. Alongside the rich history of the Wessex estate, I am sure this is a venue that can bring friends and family together for events and special occasions.”
The restaurant, which can hold up to 200 diners, comprises three different dining concepts which Ms Chen is unveiling in phases.
The first is European-style dining which caters to about 100 diners, a French contemporary fine-dining experience and a dessert house.
The dessert house can hold up to 60 diners indoors and 40 diners outdoors, which Ms Chen says is perfect for a small wedding or a private family gathering.
She adds: “I believe that by bringing flowers and food together, I will create a unique experience for my guests.”