Daniel Libeskind has never been one to shy away from ideas. The world-renowned 70-year-old architect embraced technology in his recently completed collection of waterfront homes – Corals at Keppel Bay – which is billed as the “epitome of a smart home”. But, he emphasises it’s about the soft power of technology – creating intimacy by introducing linkages – and not about making the house look like a machine.
Corals is the first residential project in Asia to have its own fully integrated smart home management system, Habitap. Everything from the shading of the home, lighting, and temperature to your parking is connected by technology, and controlled with a touch. Home owners will receive automated reminders for maintaining their systems and products. “The true core of this project is sustainable living,” he says.
“With artificial intelligence, you will want to have an even more cosy environment.”
– Daniel Libeskind
For Libeskind, who is also behind the futuristic towers Reflections at Keppel Bay, the key to designing a smart home is planning for it right from inception. “Technology needs to be organic to the design itself.” He says his approach mirrors Singapore’s development as a city. “There’s an intelligence in the way this city is planned. You have to have a longer vision. That’s the only way you can achieve something meaningful.”
Looking to the future, Libeskind points to the development of artificial intelligence as the next frontier in the design of smart homes. “You won’t have to clean your house. All the household chores associated with daily life will be controlled by artificial intelligence, giving us a very different sense of responsibility and care,” he says.
However, the future of smart homes will also see an emphasis in the opposite direction – a connection with the natural environment.
“People talk about accelerating technology and development, but they neglect to speak about the stability of the cosmic notion of living,” he shares. “With artificial intelligence, you will want to have an even more cosy environment.”
Such a holistic approach to designing a smart home is evident when you step into one of Corals’ apartments; they come complete with uplifting views of the waterfront, a luxurious sense of light space in an atmosphere of understated grandeur. He adds: “The design of Corals is really about subtlety – that’s another version of being iconic.”
And though he might be known for shaping monumental cultural buildings such as New York City’s World Trade Centre and Berlin’s Jewish Museum, Libeskind considers designing homes as one of his greatest challenges.
“It’s relatively easy to design a one-off museum, but to design a building for people to live, that’s the greatest challenge. We’re not speaking about an abstraction; we’re talking about a place where people will spend their lives.”
PHOTOGRAPHY Vernon Wong
ART DIRECTION Fazlie Hashim