SE Asia’s largest ‘co-living’ space opens in Singapore

South-east Asia’s largest ‘co-living’ space, the newly opened lyf Funan Singapore, is aimed at millennials seeking a sense of community.—Picture courtesy of CapitaLand via TODAY
South-east Asia’s largest ‘co-living’ space, the newly opened lyf Funan Singapore, is aimed at millennials seeking a sense of community.—Picture courtesy of CapitaLand via TODAY

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SINGAPORE, Sept 7 — South-east Asia’s largest co-living property opened in Singapore on Thursday, riding on a fast-growing accommodation trend among millennials.

Developer CapitaLand’s lodging business unit, The Ascott, said in a media statement that the new nine-storey property called lyf Funan Singapore spans about 121,000 sq ft in gross floor area, with 412 rooms across 279 apartments.

The co-living space, near City Hall MRT station and Raffles Place, is marketed as one that is “managed by millennials for the millennials and millennial-minded”, Ascott said in its statement on Thursday.

Co-living — part of the growing sharing economy — is where mainly young adults, seeking a sense of community, share apartments in facilities with common areas.

They can get chores done for a fee, and often take part in organised social events such as preparing meals together in a communal kitchen.

Travellers and entrepreneurs looking for short-term accommodation also use these places.

The new property lyf (pronounced “life”, and standing for “live your freedom”) is part of CapitaLand’s Funan integrated development in North Bridge Road, which includes two office blocks and the recently reopened Funan mall.

“Catering to both short and long stays, lyf Funan Singapore is ideal for leisure and business travellers, expatriates, global assignees, as well as digital nomads,” Ascott said in its media statement.

Ascott said lyf Funan Singapore represented the launch of its new lyf brand. The firm intends to open lyf properties in Bangkok, Fukuoka, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Cebu and Shanghai by 2022.

Beyond that, Ascott is exploring possible lyf properties as far afield as the Netherlands, Britain, Australia and South Korea.

Ms Mindy Teo, Ascott’s deputy managing director of lyf, said: “Ascott’s first lyf property, lyf Funan Singapore, is South-east Asia’s largest co-living property that will shape the future of travel and accommodation. Millennial and millennial-minded travellers can look forward to a dynamic live-work-play experience given the collaborative spaces, social programmes and strategic location of lyf Funan Singapore.”

In its emphasis on catering to digital natives, Ascott said guests can download an app to allow smoother payment, to book in and to gain seamless access to rooms.

Instead of key cards, guests can use their mobile phones to unlock their rooms, the firm added.

The living area in one of the lyf Funan Singapore’s co-living apartments. — Picture courtesy of CapitaLand via TODAY
The living area in one of the lyf Funan Singapore’s co-living apartments. — Picture courtesy of CapitaLand via TODAY

The lyf Funan Singapore is also managed by “lyf Guards”, who are millennials who may be community managers, city and food guides, bar keepers and event organisers all in one, Ascott said in its statement.

The building has various communal spaces, including one for workshops or social gatherings, a laundromat, a kitchen and a gym, where guests can mingle and socialise.

Weekly workshops will be available to residents, with weekly social programmes ranging from Ted talks to craft workshops and hackathons.

Pricing depends on the type of accommodation. The “One of a Kind” room, which is 18 sq m and can fit a maximum of two guests, is priced at S$150 (RM453.97) per night or S$3,060 (RM9,261.08) per month.

Those looking for a short stay may consider the “lyf Style room”. Also 18 sq m, the room is equipped with a PlayStation loaded with games and a game console. It is slightly more expensive at S$170 per night and can fit a maximum of two guests.

Co-living has already taken root in Singapore. One operator Hmlet, which entered the market in 2016, has various properties in locations such as Joo Chiat and Shenton Way. — TODAY

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