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SCDA Architects’ Soori High Line

The Singaporean firm takes design concepts to new levels in this luxury boutique development in Manhattan writes Yvonne Xu.

SCDA Architects’ Soori High Line


October 11th, 2013

September 2013 marked a milestone for SCDA Architects, when the practice’s much anticipated development and United States debut, Soori High Line, broke ground in its West Chelsea neighbourhood in New York. Located along Manhattan’s now-iconic elevated rail line park High Line, Soori High Line is an upscale boutique condominium developed by the New York and Singapore based Blackhouse Oriel Development, of which SCDA’s principal Chan Soo Khian is a partner, as well as an owner of the property.


As developer and architect, Chan shares that the project is more than an architectural exploration for SCDA; it is a key extension of his design-lifestyle concept – Soori.

“Soori is a refinement in terms of product development, of integrating all aspects of design – a chance to do total design,” explains Chan of the genesis of the Soori brand, whose pilot project is the tropical resort Alila Villas Soori in West Bali.


In the first renderings released for the Manhattan work of art, Soori looks set to appeal to the chic neighbourhood. The aesthetics is light and fin-thin (external steel elements combined with glass and timber form slim striations), balanced by an overall formal order and balance characteristic of SCDA’s work. Chan says the crux of the project lies in what the building, which is fitted to local zoning and street envelope control, encompasses within: the collection of the 27 apartments offering a sense of light, volume, and luxurious design detailing.

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Offered in a mix of configurations, the one- to four-bedroom apartments feature high ceilings soaring to fourteen and eighteen feet high. Sixteen of the units have private heated pools considered for year-round use. Ground floor apartments extend out to private rear yards – the answer to New York’s urban context and its penchant for entertaining. Crowning it all are triplex penthouses with terraces and rooftop pools overlooking the Manhattan skyline.

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As a keen designer (Chan is one of the design panellists for Poliform), Chan assembles the interior contents with detailed care, giving it a sumptuous natural materiality, and, in an extension of the building’s architecture, a sense of balance and geometry. Interiors are fitted out with Poliform wardrobes, Varenna kitchens and Boffi systems, and precision custom design is a key idea explored in the project. Everything is tucked, concealed, and refined – right down to the mirrors and night lights.

As a total lifestyle service, Soori High Line is sweetened with five-star amenities, including a bistro, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, a well-stocked wine cellar, as well as concierge services that provide town cars and umbrellas – all the necessary luxuries in Manhattan.


SCDA Architects

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