44 NT


The site for 44 NT is positioned beautiful on the edge of the South China Sea facing a set of coral islands across the bay. Fronted by only a narrow strip of public promenade and beach the location is a perfect setting for a hotel and food and beverage destination.

The hotel and service apartment block consisting of close to 500keys rests on top of 8 levels of a very vibrant mixed use podium comprising of high end- medium end retail, destination food and beverage, multi-screen cinemas and a large banquet facility.

The ground floor retail is fronted by a celebration plaza along the waterfront through which one enters a large elliptical atrium which creates a grand space within the heart of the podium. It also maximizes the visual to all stores and ensures good footfall to all shops by strategically tuned placement of specific lease types and sizes.

The ocean facing sections of the retail podium are populated with destination food and beverage at the mid-levels and a food court at a higher lever to maximize ocean views. The large outdoor deck seating’s ensure that patrons can enjoy the beautiful sea breeze which enjoying their sumptuous meals.

The enclosed boxes for the larger anchors, cinema box and the banquet are positioned towards the rear road.

The hotel starts from a smaller satellite lobby on the ground leading to a much grander ocean facing lobby on level nine which opens to a beautiful deck with reflecting pools and a tropical landscape. Connected directly to this level are the spa and the outdoor dining facilities which overflow into these decks to create indoor-outdoor spaces for both usages.

All the rooms have been designed to suit the prime ocean facing location. Each room has a large deck and an elegant bathroom where you can enjoy a relaxing evening in the tub with un-interrupted views of the water.

The exception design culminates at the roof crown which has been modelled inspired by the waves of the ocean and houses the roof level pool and a destination club and restaurant facility which can boast about it’s best views of Nha Trang city and the South China Sea.

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185 Rajadamri

185 Rajadamri


This was a prime site in the centre of Bangkok. Formerly the Cambodian Embassy, it was bordered on two sides by parks, one being Lumpini Park and the other The Royal Bangkok Sports Club. It took a long time to arrive at the eventual design. Given its prime location, the client was keen to explore a wide range of design approaches.

The final design consists of what seem to be two 145 metre high towers which are actually joined at the pivot point, the central lift core. It was an exercise in breaking down the mass, resulting in an overall skyline that belied the building’s bulk, but also ensured that all the apartments have a park view. This process involved ‘cutting out’ those parts of the building which did not enjoy a view, resulting in all units becoming ‘prime’ units.

All the 256 units were large, ranging from 140 square metre 2-bedroom units to 300 square metre penthouses and duplexes, within the matrix of a flexible floorplate which allowed a range of different unit types. While the building presents itself as a glass box, in fact only 35% of the façade has actual windows. The remaining curtain wall is solid, with a colour back-pan detail that provides effective insulation without any loss of aesthetic appeal.

The site was small and the building only ever six metres away from the property line. This demanded a compact design. So, for example, the parking podium on the prime city-facing elevation has been given an innovative façade treatment of expanded metal screens, horizontal louvres and light-boxes to camouflage it. All the facilities are located under the footprint of the towers. Pool decks and support facil ities have been integrated to provide top-class amenities, while the building has a 4-storey entrance lobby.

This development has been awarded multiple recognitions.



South East Asia Property Awards 2013
Best Condo Development

Thailand Property Awards 2013
Best Luxury Condo Development Bangkok


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The River



The River, involving 200,000 square metres of GFA, pushed HB Design to a new level, requiring more than a doubling of staff numbers. The proposal from the client was highly ambitious in so far as it involved two towers with a total of almost 1000 units on the ‘wrong side’ of the Chao Praya River. But the vision was to change that mindset with a landmark building. For HB Design it represented a special challenge because it signalled another shift in scale.

After initially considering three towers, it was decided to construct two towers (72 and 44 storeys), providing the same amount of sellable space with floorplates of 1400 square metres. This also presented the opportunity to ensure that all apartments had good views. Then, orienting the towers on a north-south axis framed the river to show its meandering course either to the sea or up-country, while also providing the best solar orientation.

The architectural expression is driven by a yin-yang principle whose first iteration is to off-set the two towers and break down the mass. This is enhanced by a highly sculptural gesture giving a different articulation to the two principal sides of each tower. One side is an elegant curved curtain wall, the other has a more textured expression, a series of ‘pigeon holes’ which acknowledge the units themselves.

A new water cooled air-conditioning system enabled floor to floor heights to come down from 3.4 to 3.2 metres, adding an extra three floors to the buildings. This innovation also enabled the CDU to be brought in off the balcony, removing it as both a heat and noise source and giving the development an added marketing edge.

Innovative vertical planning enabled a variety of different unit types. This involved clustering all the serviced areas (kitchens and bathrooms) adjacent to the corridor, enabling the risers to be easily transferred to the main core, thus liberating the plan for different lay-outs. The main façades reflected this diversity and so avoided the usual monotonous repetition of typical floors.

The condominium has a large parking podium on top of which there is an ‘eco deck’, an extensive landscaped area with pools, pavilions and other supporting amenities. It also offers a unique amenity in the form of a private boat service linking the condominium with the ‘right’ side of the river.

In a gesture to urban placemaking, the river frontage was conceived as part of a civic design, hosting publicly accessible restaurants and retail amenities.

CNN Interview

Walk Through


South East Asia Property Awards 2012
Best Condo Development

Thailand Property Awards 2012
Best Condo Development Bangkok

Thailand Property Awards 2012
Best Condo Development Thailand

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This twin-tower condominium set a new benchmark for residential development in Pattaya not just for its quality and the high level of return for its developer, but also for establishing right at the beginning the twin principles of humanising and democratising the high-rise.

Pattaya is a resort destination just one-and-a-half hours from Bangkok and the site was at the northern end of the main Pattaya beachfront road. The oceanfront plot had no height or GFA limit, but allowed only 30,000 square meters per building and required a big setback which was used to create a large garden. A helicam study provided a good sense of the context. This was built into a 3D model which demonstrated the magnificent views north and south across Pattaya Bay. The decision was made to build two single-loaded corridor towers – one at 54 storeys facing Pattaya Bay, the other at 46 storeys facing bays to the north – ensuring that every unit would have a good view. This, together with the fact that the views could never be blocked, resulted in all the units being sold quickly off-plan for the highest prices ever paid in Pattaya. This win-win solution was a testament to understanding where the developer was coming from and speaking the same language while generating a quality design outcome and quality amenity for buyers.

The façade is conceived as a series of units that express themselves like pigeon holes. Double-height duplex units are on the corners of the buildings, separated by a blade wall from the other units. In the top third of the towers is a sky terrace with pool, plunge pool, gym and spa, available to all units.

Another key aspect to the project was its in-built flexibility. All the service elements (kitchens and bathrooms) were placed along the corridor wall. The main risers were on the other side of the corridor. A change of floor plan means that the unit risers can be re-located to suit. This flexibility has two aspects. One is to do with what is offered, allowing customers to choose where in the building they wanted to live, while also offering a mix-and-match selection to the marketing team providing a variety of unit types in a variety of locations. The other aspect is the flexibility to adapt to changing market requirements between when the project was launched and closer to the time of completion. This involved being able to make last minute changes to lay-outs before partitions had gone in, but with the quantum remaining the same.

Northpoint was an affirmation of design as a means to ‘surprise and delight’ Two towers, oriented north and south respectively, with single-loaded corridors ensured that all the units shared equally in the beauty of the site. The corner-sited double-height duplexes provided a new dimension of choice, along with the in-built flexibility of the planning. Together, these creative solutions signalled a new typology in high-rise multi-residential design.



Best Condo Development Eastern Seaboard
Thailand Property Awards 2010

Best Condo Development Eastern Seaboard
Thailand Property Awards 2008

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President Place



The client for this office building was an Australian developer who had moved to Vietnam. It was a prime site opposite the Presidential Palace Park and on a main road. The client wanted something that “punched above its weight” and took full advantage of the site. At 14,000 square metres with 14 floors it is not a big building, but the aim was nonetheless to provide a Grade A commercial development.

Formally, the idea was to design an envelope which did not consist of a traditional curtain wall box, but was a layered façade using sunshading and screen walls. Strategically, the aim was to create a building which offered a balance between work, life and the environment.

Regulations required a nine metre setback at the 9th floor, so the challenge was to find an appropriately logical form. Accordingly, the building was broken down into two volumes. One, called the Cube, occupies the prime position at the front of the site looking out to the park. The second volume, the Wrap, embraces the Cube. The 2 screening systems were made possible as a result of the cost-savings achieved with the base building, where construction was simplified down to masonry with paint and simple horizontal strip windows.

The Cube is clad in horizontal aerofoil extrusions of 220mm, while the Wrap is a screen wall of panels perforated randomly to enhance through-visibility. Some of the panels are open to give the wall texture, and are uplit at night to give the façade atmosphere. The main objective was to break down the daylight to minimise heat gain, while still maintaining acceptable light levels for computer work.

The façade serves not only an environmental function, but also as a more sophisticated reading of form. This is because it presents itself not as a singular object (that is, a glass box), but offers a more complex layered reading, changing constantly, depending on light conditions and the angle of viewing.

This project has been awarded a LEED Gold Certification in 2012. It’s the only project in Ho Chi Minh City to have garnered this prestigious green award.


LEED Gold Certification

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Marvel Edge



This mixed use commercial building was the first project for Marvel Realtors. It was on an old factory site in the central business district and the brief was to attract a different clientele to those in the call centre environment on the outskirts of the city. It was to accommodate a large number of small office tenancies of 250 square metres and above. HB Design coined the term the ‘condominiumisation of an office building’, one which offered a wide variety of amenities that small offices don’t normally enjoy. Through a series of workshops with the client an extended brief was developed leading to the inclusion into the brief of garden terraces, shops, restaurants, business centre, gym, spa and a boutique hotel. This approach to the modern workplace also reflected a more mobile workspace with a range of both formal and informal areas, acknowledging that contemporary digital communication enables people to work away from their desk.

The form needed to clearly communicate this difference in approach. It aimed to depart from the straight lines and boxes of its context, becoming a 240 metre-long, 40 metre-high curvilinear shape – a modern groundscraper. Taking advantage of a lot of existing trees, a public park was created at the back as part of a strategy to make the ground plane part of the public realm. Cuts through the building on the ground floor allow the public to pass through the building to the park at the rear evoking the iconic ‘Hyde Park lines’. Two naturally ventilated galleries bifurcate the building, providing secure entry for the tenants and connecting with the building’s eight cores, each servicing half of one wing and so helping to create a more intimate scale.

The intention was to create a boutique feel and to build in flexibility. The top floor was only half occupied, the other half being an eco-deck given over to terraces, extensive greening and pools. A requirement for refuge terraces was turned into an opportunity by transforming them into sky boxes, double-height and triple-height, with plantings, creating an amenity for every wing.

The building has a three-layered façade consisting of a double-glazed curtain wall, private terraces and sunscreening.

As a hybrid building, Edge contributes to a richer urban context, especially in the way it engages on the ground plane with the public domain. The terraces humanise the building, while also forming part of a strategy to provide a more flexible workplace, one which goes beyond the traditional enclosed office.

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Located on a hillside with a panoramic view of Jomtien and Pattaya Bays, this condominium offers urban resort lifestyle with small extremely efficient unit plans. The main axis of the building aligns the best views to most units, while the highly efficient L-shape floor plan keeps construction costs to a minimum.

The total development consists of over 1100 units with extensive landscape and amenity areas and is targeted at mid level buyers who are seeking an affordable holiday home.

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Chee Hoon House



Vertical Stratification
The house consists of 3 clearly differentiated vertical stratas:
• Basement: subterranean • Ground floor: open box (to garden) • Upper floor: closed box

The architecture of each strata is clearly defined. The basement is focussed around a central courtyard.
The ground floor is a glazed box with a seamless relationship with the various outdoor spaces. The upper floor is an enclosed box with punctuations defined by strictly defined viewplanes.

Engineering Privacy
The envelope of the house has been defined by the relationship of the internal spaces with the external context. In the case of the ground floor the interior invites the exterior in with the confines of that level defined by the landscaping edges along the perimeter.
In the case of the upper floor, the immediate context was accurately modelled and, following the resolution of the floor plan, clearly defined view cones set up. These cones intersected with the envelope to define the openings – each unique in size and geometry.

The material palette of the house has been kept deliberately simple with only a few key materials used over and over again. All materials are natural, without paint, varnish or other surface coverings. The upper box is clad in a mosaic of copper panels – resembling a cracked eggshell. The other materials are simple granite flooring, wood and natural anodised aluminium.

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Whitehouse Park



The concept evolved from the reconciliation of a long and narrow site with the attraction of a natural green reserve. From this evolved the dual concepts of the building defined as 3 boxes and the site divided by 2 screen walls.The boxes and their architectural treatments are a reflection of their purpose. The support facilities block, housing the kitchen and the staff quarters, is expressed as a tough, fair-faced concrete shell.

The bedroom block is an introverted building with a simple punched-window façade with operable screens that provide the privacy required by the spaces within. Finally, there is the living room block, an extroverted building, designed to maximize the relationship to the view and garden.

This is an openable box, glazed on 3 sides with a large protecting canopy.


Featured 15 May 2014

25 Tropical House





This project is blessed with a context that truly sets the stage for an unprecedented environment. The masterplan for the overall development has set aside a 22 acre parcel of land to be designed and developed into a park landscape providing passive and active recreation facilities set within a lush, green environment. The project has been designed to link to this amenity both visually and physically – making it more than just a passive backdrop, but an integral part of the holistic lifestyle envisaged.

The architecture has been developed in response to this setting, giving many of the apartments commanding views of the park. The remaining units form part of a large landscaped courtyard with private amenities and a clubhouse. The massing of the development is fronted by 2 elegant towers that form a gateway between the park and the courtyard. The flanks of the courtyard have been broken down into a series of visually interwoven forms that stitch together the rhomboid towers creating an undulating façade. The petals of the rhombus are angled to open up the vistas and increasing view corridors towards the inner courtyard park and beyond.

Great emphasis has been given to the community spaces and amenities provided for the residents living in the township. Beyond the array of the standard offerings of sports and recreational facilities, the design also provides interwoven ‘sky communities’ and ‘sky parks’ towards the top of the building.

The double height Sky Communities provide break-out covered spaces at the 19th Floor  where residents can congregate for community events, reading a book, having a conversation or just have a quiet evening ‘chai’. The Sky Park is located on the roof of the side flanks and crossed over the buildings to create a 100m long park with yoga, barbeque and lounge facilities all enjoying the exceptional views and the cool park breeze.

The exceptional design continues into the layout of the units, which have been carefully calibrated and laid out to create elegant and efficiently planned apartments that appear far more generous than their areas might indicate.


Featured 15 April 2016