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December 20, 2014

Torre Central: Designed for college success

Sharon Martin
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The prospect of living away from home can be exciting for most college students — after all, it’s their first taste of independence. However, the reality is that they have to contend with crowded dormitories or apartments, and share common facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens.

Parents need to realize that setting up their children for success later in life includes providing them the most ideal living conditions that are conducive to study, sleep and recreation especially if they are away from family.

“Poor living conditions may affect the performance of a student,” says Bong Recio of RChitects Inc., an experienced architect behind some of the most prestigious real estate developments in the country. “How can he concentrate on his studies when he is sharing a cramped room with so many people?” he asks.

It may be unusual to hear parenting advice from a design professional, but it is a sound lifestyle principle that property developer Torre Lorenzo definitely ascribes to. Keeping in mind the conveniences and comforts of students — as well as utmost value for their parents’ real estate investment — has always been the cornerstone of the company’s successful high-rise condominium developments targeting this particular segment of the homebuyer market.

Despite being one of the fairly new players in the local real estate industry, Torre Lorenzo has gained solid reputation for crafting residential projects aimed at the growing student population particularly in the University Belt area of Manila.

Its latest development is the 30-story Torre Central, a low-density vertical community that is just a few steps away from the University of Santo Tomas. Torre Lorenzo has enlisted the expertise of RChitects Inc. in realizing its vision of modern condo living for today’s active, busy and high-achieving youth.

“This project was tailor-fit for students. When we were designing it, we were asked to think and feel like students,” says architect Dennis Anaya, senior designer of RChitects Inc.

Torre Central’s overall design is anchored on the distinct needs of its intended occupants. The units are compact but roomy and efficient enough to ensure the physical comfort and freedom of movement of its occupants.

“The size of the units reminds me of similarly compact apartments when I stayed in Hong Kong in the 1970s,” says Recio.

“The design of Torre Central is a modern take on those flats. Because of its limited size, we must be ingenious in making every space counts,” adds Anaya.

Torre Central offers studio units with sizes ranging from around 16.55 square meters to 37 square meters. Unit buyers will be pleased to know that each unit comes fully furnished with an air conditioning unit, kitchen with stovetop, range hood and sink, and intercom doorbell system. Moving in is hassle-free because there is also no need to buy furniture. Units are already provided with bunk beds, wardrobe closet, kitchen top with stainless steel and grease trap, stove top and range hood, shower heater, window-type air conditioner, bathroom fixtures and a dining set. Unit owners will also be provided a ready cable and Internet connections.

Incorporating these furnishings in the design and construction is essential in ensuring that the space is maximized. “Everything has to be custom-built by hand,” says Recio.

Two persons can live comfortably in a Torre Central unit. Even the bathroom, despite its modest space, was designed to accommodate two users simultaneously. The shower area is separate from the toilet and washbasin.

Every unit also has its own balcony with cleverly concealed utility area so students can save on laundry expenses by washing and drying their own clothes. The architects employed clever techniques of using yellow metal accents to screen the drying cages from outside view.

The design team was also conscious about adding “green” features like LED lighting, water closets with dual flush system, and corridors that employ natural lighting. The large operable unit windows also help occupants cut down on aircon use, and the balcony features a full-sized glass door that lets in streams of sunlight.