HAO Mart CEO Has An Exquisite GCB That Resembles A Spacecraft, Shaped Like An ‘8’ For Prosperity

4 July 2022 | BY

The fast expansion of the minimart chain has allowed for its Group Chairman & CEO to afford an awe-inspiring home that looks out of this world.

hao mart

Apart from giant supermarket chains like NTUC Fairprice and Sheng Siong, another outlet that we love to get our groceries from is HAO Mart. Established in 2016, the HAO Mart brand is a chain of minimarts found islandwide, iconic for its lime green and orange logo. 

So what would someone at the helm of over 40 convenience stores islandwide do with his money? Well, one common purchase of the rich and affluent here in Singapore would have to be property; not just any property…but the kind that’ll make you go woahhh. And Dr Tan Kim Yong’s Group Chairman & CEO of HAO Mart’s home certainly doesn’t disappoint!

Massive 30,138sqft home in Jervois Hill

Situated in Jervois Hill – which is just off Tanglin Road and next to the High Commission of Brunei Darussalam – the home is a giant 30,138sqft bungalow that was completed in 2017, and sits at the end of the road. The neighbourhood is pretty well known for its many Good Class Bungalows (GCBs), and if you took a walk down the road you’ll pretty much be in awe at the many impressive-looking homes.

Zooming in to our GCB in question, the home is actually called Villa Otto, designed by Italian-based designers Mercurio Design Lab (who are the brains behind some pretty amazing Sentosa Cove homes) and built by A.M. Architects. 

The home features one master bedroom, two junior bedrooms, two guest bedrooms, a prayer room, a study, a game room, as well as other frills like a karaoke room, sauna/spa/shower room, bar and wine cellar, and a home theatre.

gcbImage credit: Mercurio Design Lab

Why Otto? Well, it’s because Otto means ‘eight’ in Italian, and the number is also considered auspicious and lucky in the Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui. According to Mercurio Design Lab, the elegant home pays homage to the client’s enthusiasm for Feng Shui, which is the Chinese philosophy of designing and arranging things around the home to usher in harmony and prosperity.

And so, auspicious symbolism can be found integrated seamlessly throughout the house, not just in its overall design but even right down to the furnishings and more intricate details. Judging from what Mercurio has to say about their completed work, it seems that Villa Otto is one of the standout projects that they’ve embarked on, and that they’re extremely proud of what they’ve accomplished:

“‘Otto’ is the best example so far of MDL’s integrative philosophy where everything ─ from the landscaping through the external form to the interior architecture, fixtures, finishes and furnishings ─ forms an integrated whole, a single experience, to communicate one central, driving idea for the house.”

Feng Shui-inspired design

hao martImage credit: Architizer

If you take a bird’s eye view of the bungalow, you’ll recognise that the home resembles a figure 8. As you may know, the number ‘8’ is considered lucky in Chinese culture, and so having a home literally designed around the Chinese symbol for prosperity is somewhat like an outward gesture or representation of wealth. It also looks like the symbol for infinity, which we guess symbolises infinite flow of huat?

According to Massimo Mercurio, Creative Director of Mercurio Design Lab, they decided to build the whole house with the symbol of prosperity in mind, and that the number 8 design “also celebrates the beauty of fundamental geometries, where ellipses and circles merge with mystical meaning”. 

On this, you’ll struggle to find harsh angles or sharp edges around the home’s design; this is intentional, as it’s meant to symbolise the fluidity and continuity of the home’s energy.

gcbImage adapted from: Google Maps

Other than from the air, the number 8 is also seen at the entrance of the gate leading to the home. We’re guessing that this is also symbolic, perhaps meant to signify ushering wealth from the outside into the home. House structure and entrance aside, the number 8 is also featured throughout the house, such as its door handles, ceiling insets and wall motifs. 

Resemblance to a spaceship

Another aspect of the home that we found particularly interesting was how it exudes cool, futuristic vibes, which juxtaposes really well with the olden Feng Shui philosophy.

gcbImage credit: Mercurio Design Lab

If you look at the home from its direct front, you can kind of see how the home might resemble a spaceship, with the two sides of the ‘8’ being the wings and the main roof in the middle being the vessel’s body. 

In addition, the full-glass panels of the first and second floors complement the steel-cladded ceiling of each level, which according to Mercurio, “gives the impression of a spacecraft either about to land or to take off”. Definitely a great conversation starter when guests first enter the compound.

Lavish dining area

hao martImage credit: Design and Architecture

While interior shots are few and far between, we did manage to chance upon this shot of the home’s lavish dining area, which features a large dining table – with nothing less than rounded edges of course – that can comfortably seat over 10 people. 

Just adjacent to the dining area is a central atrium with a statue art piece that consists of two intertwined infinity symbols, once again symbolising limitless wealth. From what we can see, the other side is a large lounge area, presumably to host guests and also a space to chill and laze around.

One thing that the home definitely doesn’t lack is space. Fun fact: according to Mercurio Design Lab, did you know that the master bedroom occupies about 500sqm (~5,381sqft), which is pretty much the floor space of 2-3 5-room HDB flats combined.

Unique swimming pool that wraps around the house

gcbImage credit: Mercurio Design Lab

When it comes to landed property here in Singapore, you know that the ones featuring their own swimming pool are seen as a cut above the rest, purely because of the physical space and cost involved in maintaining a private pool. Well, Villa Otto certainly doesn’t disappoint in this area either.

Unlike other swimming pools which are typically rectangular and/or take up space at the side of the house, the pool here at Villa Otto wraps around the perimeter of one of the ‘wings’ of the home’s figure 8, and is easily accessible from what looks like the main living room. 

We’d hazard a guess that the choice to have a ‘river-like’ pool is yet another play at incorporating Feng Shui in the home’s design; after all, water is considered one of the essential elements, and so having a pool that resembles a river flowing is akin to prosperity or wealth flowing through and into the home.

gcbImage credit: Mercurio Design Lab

Moving away from the pool, we can see that the home is also set amidst a lush, green space teeming with plants. Intentional again? You bet – apparently, having greenery around the house is seen to promote calmness and radiance, as well as good luck for its inhabitants. 

A lavish ‘old meets new’, ‘East meets West’ home

On the whole, the massive Villa Otto is a testament not only to the creative genius of its designers to bring about modern contemporary design, but also for their ability to widely incorporate many elements of feng shui into the design of the home. With that amount, we’re sure that HAO Mart Group Chairman & CEO Dr Tan Kim Yong will enjoy continued success and prosperity, not just in his business but family life as well!

Check out some of the other business owners’ homes here:

Cover image credit: Mercurio Design Lab, Design and Architecture

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