8 Different Types of Penthouses You Should Know

PLB Editorial Team

January 21, 2023

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Penthouses are the ultimate symbol of luxury and exclusivity in the real estate world, offering spacious living quarters, stunning views, and top-of-the-line amenities. These luxurious units are typically located on the top floor of a building and offer a unique living experience that is unmatched by any other type of apartment. In this article, we will focus on 8 different types of penthouses and share more about how the floor plans make a difference.

When looking for the right penthouse to fit your needs, some important features come to mind. Accessibility matters. This is important in future-proofing the home for your mobility needs in the future. It also caters to multi-generational families with elderly staying with them. The Indoor-Outdoor mix in the floor plan is also an important factor when it comes to the preference of buyers. 

Not only that, but where the outdoor space is located in the floor plan will determine how these spaces are being used. Having the space and option for private facilities like a gym, swimming pool, or garden within your own apartment space is also an important factor. Finally, having the flexibility to design the penthouse space around your lifestyle is crucial. Different types of penthouses offer a varying range of flexibility to create child-friendly or party-friendly homes.

We will be covering how these 8 different types of penthouses differ in terms of their accessibility, indoor-outdoor mix, option for private facilities, and design flexibility. These are some of the important (but not all) of the factors that you should consider when analysing penthouses and their floor plans.

Singapore is home to a wide variety of penthouses, each catering to different preferences and budgets. Here is a closer look at some of the most popular types of penthouses in Singapore.

Single Floor Plate Penthouses

Penthouses with a single floor plate refer to penthouses that span the entire top floor of the stack. Being a single floor unit, there are no stairways in the penthouse, making it very accessible for elderly and users with mobility issues. These penthouses may have a private lift. If that is so, do note that the lift foyer is part of the square footage of the penthouse.

These homes are a great choice for multi-generational households that want to have the family live all on a single floor plate. Making an excellent choice for closely-knit families that love to spend more time together. Single floor plate penthouses mostly have open layouts with great cross ventilation due to their single-loading style. It will have both the front and back facing of the stack, allowing wind to pass through unhindered.

Due to the single floor plate nature, most of these types of penthouses have their outdoor space in the form of balconies attached to the common living area or to the bedrooms, allowing for cosy outdoor spaces in both private and family settings. Some examples of this type of penthouse are The Ansley and Metropolitan.

High Ceiling Single Floor Penthouses

As penthouses evolve through time, more recent penthouses have high ceiling single floor plates. These penthouses are a result of rising land, construction, and en bloc costs. Developers then focus on a quantum play to keep the quantum price of the property palatable for new homebuyers. This includes the penthouse units as well.

These newer editions should not be interpreted as inferior just because they occupy a single floor plate. In fact, one unique feature that developers choose to add for these newer forms of penthouse is a high ceiling. The 4.5 to 5 metre tall ceilings give homeowners the flexibility to create 5 square metres of loft space, usually in the common living area or in the master bedroom. Some examples of this include Parc Riviera and Privé.

Duplex Penthouses with a Blank Roof Concept

Duplex penthouses are two-story units that offer plenty of space and privacy. The added space and privacy of a duplex penthouse make it an attractive option for those who want a little more room to spread out. It also gives homeowners more room to host friends and family for social gatherings, with more space partitioning flexibility as compared to single floor plate penthouses.

For duplex penthouses with a blank roof concept, all the living space is concentrated on the first floor. This means that the common living spaces, kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms are located on the first floor. The second floor is the blank roof, which is an outdoor space that homeowners can use for social gatherings, barbecues, gardening, exercising, and many more activities. This is a flexible space for homeowners to design how they wish to interact with the great outdoors. 

This type of duplex usually comes with either an internal or external staircase. Depending on the preferences of the homeowner, this choice might be important when it comes to accessing outdoor spaces. Some prefer indoor staircases for safety, maintenance, and wet weather reasons. While others prefer the staircase to not take up the indoor space that they have. Examples of these penthouses include Thomson Three, Austville, and A Treasure Trove.

As for renovations on the blank roof, homeowners would need MCST permission for the installation of shelters. Typically, these shelters should have no solid load bearing. Sometimes, the Management Corporation Strata Title (MCST) could refer you to the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) for more additional information on the renovation guidelines. You will need permission from these parties if you intend to increase the Gross Floor Area (GFA) of your home whilst renovating the blank roof.

Duplex Penthouses with Two Floors of Liveable Space

Duplex Penthouses with two floors of liveable space are a classic and traditional type of penthouse. Often, the two floor plates are balanced or complement each other. Like all other penthouses, the duplex takes up the top two floors of the stack. Typically, we will see the first floor of the duplex used for living space, while the second floor is a mix of indoor and outdoor space. However, unlike the blank roof concept, classic duplexes with two floors of liveable space will have their second floor with build-up space. 

An example of this type of Penthouse is CityLife. The first floor is a great mix of living space and common space for guests. While the second floor holds the master bedroom with a nice and long balcony space. On the other end of the second floor, we also have the roof terrace and powder room, making it a great outdoor space to host guests.

As the conventional image of a proper penthouse, they can look amazing when done right. Duplexes offer more than just double the floorspace of an average condominium unit. Intermixing indoor and outdoor space gives the home a refreshing feel, throwing the idea of claustrophobia out of the window.

Dual Key Duplex Penthouses

Dual key penthouses are a type of residential property that consists of two separate units within the same property. These units are typically arranged over two levels, with one unit located on the lower level and the other on the upper level. In Singapore, dual key duplex penthouses are popular among families and individuals who want the space and privacy of a penthouse, but with the added convenience of having two separate units within the same property, giving it a strong rental potential.

As an investment choice, they give homeowners the flexibility to rent out one of the units when their children have moved out. This is possible by having separate entrances for both levels of the duplex penthouse. Often, lift access would be available for both floors of the penthouse. Hence, the term “dual key”. These penthouses are a more specific subset of duplexes with the feature of having separate entrances for both floors of the penthouse.

Maisonette Style Duplex Penthouses

Maisonette penthouses are a type of residential property that consists of two or more floors, sometimes with a separate entrance for each level. They are similar to duplex penthouses in that they offer multiple levels of living space within the same property.

This is a unique subset of duplex penthouses. In the example of Palm Spring above, these styles of penthouses might have a more traditional take on outdoor spaces in the form of balconies attached to bedrooms. Some Maisonette penthouses might also have lift access to both floors, which is not that common among penthouses. 

This is an extremely convenient option for families to partition living and common spaces. Having social gatherings without disturbing the kids, or having the kids be able to have direct access to their bedrooms and bathrooms after taking a dip in the pool can save homeowners a lot of headaches when it comes to keeping the spaces well-partitioned.

Triplex Penthouses

Triplex penthouses are a type of residential property that consists of three levels within the same building. These properties are typically arranged over three floors. Triplex penthouses are similar to duplex and maisonette penthouses in that they offer multiple levels of living space within the same property. However, triplex penthouses differ in that they have three levels rather than two. This allows for even more space and privacy, as well as the convenience of having multiple levels within the same property.

The unique selling point of Triplexes, other than the obvious differences in square footage, is that they are a rare asset in today’s real estate market. These triplex penthouses are few and far between, with most of them being prized collections in high-net worth portfolios. In Singapore, triplex penthouses are relatively rare, but there are a few examples of these properties in the city. Here are a few examples of triplex penthouses in Singapore: Wallich Residence, Ris Grandeur, Helios Residences, Nouvel 18 and Skyline.

Ris Grandeur is an example of a Triplex penthouse in Singapore. With plenty of living space to offer, this penthouse offers two floors of living space with one floor for outdoor use. Its layout shows us how the bedrooms can be spaced out across different floors, giving a more balanced and mirrored floor plan rather than partitioning the floors by what it is used for.

While there is a lot of room for owners to customise the design of their home, not all triplexes come with private lift access to every floor. In this case, occupants would still have to use the stairwell to access the different floors. This type of penthouse might have an amazing amount of space but the slight dip in accessibility affects the quality of living for elderly members of the family.

Overall, triplex penthouses in Singapore are a rare and highly coveted type of residential property. The three floors of space give homeowners greater flexibility to partition their bedrooms, indoor and outdoor common spaces.

Luxury Penthouses

These are the most luxurious and expensive penthouses in Singapore, often found in high-end condominiums and offering panoramic views of the city skyline. Luxury penthouses typically come with private pools, rooftop gardens, private lifts, unique layouts and other lavish amenities. These units are ideal for those who want the ultimate in luxury and exclusivity. 

They are typically found in a central location with a unique layout. Here are some examples of luxury penthouses: SilverSea, Scotts Tower, Starlight Suites Triplex, Beaverton Court Triplex, D’Leedon Duplex, Tate Residences Triplex. Among luxury penthouses such as these, they are available in many forms, from triplex to duplex and single floor plate penthouses. 

Here is an example of a luxury triplex from Tate Residences. With a private pool and lounge on the third floor, the first two floors of the penthouse offer a tremendous amount of living space. This offers luscious living even for multi-generational families, with private lifts giving easy access to each floor without having to laboriously climb up the stairs.

Luxury Triplexes give owners the opportunity to truly design their dream homes. With a comparable amount of space to some landed properties, the ability to customise the home is unparalleled. This category of penthouses also gives owners a greater indoor space mix. With an additional floor compared to duplexes, the amount of built-up space for indoor use is plenty. The sheer amount of space in luxury triplexes would also mean that outdoor space is not compromised simply because owners want to have more indoor space.

The important factor that strings these penthouses together is not just the price tag but the exclusivity and the centrality of the property. These luxury penthouses offer a unique combination of space, privacy, and luxurious amenities, making them an ideal choice for families and individuals looking for the ultimate high-end living.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the type of penthouse you choose, you can expect to enjoy top-of-the-line finishes, luxurious amenities, and stunning views in any of these luxurious apartment units in Singapore. Some common amenities found in penthouses include private pools, rooftop gardens, and private elevators.

In addition to the luxurious amenities, penthouses also offer a unique living experience that is unmatched by any other type of apartment. The top-floor location of penthouses typically means that they offer stunning views of the surrounding area, including the city skyline and the surrounding natural beauty. These units are also typically more secluded and private, offering a sense of exclusivity and serenity that is hard to find in other types of apartments.

Despite their luxurious nature, penthouses in Singapore are not out of reach for many buyers. There is a wide range of penthouses available at different price points, making it possible for a variety of buyers to experience the luxurious living experience that penthouses have to offer.

Penthouses in Singapore are also a popular choice for investors, as they offer a unique and desirable living experience that is highly sought after by renters. The combination of luxurious amenities and stunning views has distinguished penthouses as a class of property on its own.

If you wish to find out more about the penthouses on the market right now, and if any of them suit your needs and preferences, reach out to us here! 

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