This conserved 4-storey shophouse used to be the former Hong Wen School in the 1920s. It is situated in a culturally rich enclave, Little India.
The existing building has a simple rectangular floor plate, with an internal air-well where the lift is located. The various floors are of differing storey heights, with the fourth storey, being directly under the pitch room, having a double volume space. With this, we located the glass lift shaft at the common air-well. The guest rooms vary in sizes, and can be classified into three types, namely capsule rooms on the second storey (11), typical mid-size rooms on the third (9), and loft rooms on the fourth (9), making a total of 29 rooms. The hotel reception, lounge, restaurant and back-of-house are all located on the first storey, and a common roof garden with a Jacuzzi on the second storey.
The Client initiated a theme for this hotel, an idea on travelling as the name of the hotel suggests, and roping in three well-known graphic designers to provide concepts for the interior design of each floor. DP Architects, besides taking charge of the interior concept for one storey, also assisted in coordinating and executing the concepts for all parties. As the other three designers were all graphic-based, we moved away from conventional architectural design methods, working on idea which is more graphical so as to be consistent with the general graphical theme.
Industrial Glam, by Asylum
The first storey, where the restaurant Cocotte and lounge are, takes on an “Industrial Glam” look, by introducing industrial elements such as gold-painted collapsible gate, raw oxidised steel countertop, neon sign on tinted mirror. The colourful custom-made vintage print wallpaper inspired by posters found in the vicinity, cement sand screed floor and wall, exposed brickwork and used wood floor finish form the backdrop for the vintage and recycled furniture pieces.
Eccentricity, by Phunk Studio
The second storey, inspired by nearby thieves market, is themed “Eccentricity”. Each room is mono-coloured, corresponding to an appropriate song title in a form of a neon light sign. The jacuzzi at the roof garden on the second storey has the colours converging as a graphic design. This is also evident along the common corridor, echoing the colours of the rooms on the doors, walls and ceiling.
Is It Just Black & White? by DP Architects
The third storey “Is it just black and white?” challenges one to see spaces in a graphical 2-dimensional perspective, like a piece of paper. An element of surprise is played up by leading the guests through a black corridor into rooms of contrasting white. Origami rooms have undulating ceilings which are washed with varied coloured light, controlled freely by the guests, like a white canvas. Pop-up rooms bring one into life-size pop-up books, with stencilled pop-up graphics on the walls.
Creature Comforts, by fFurious
The fourth storey named “Creature Comforts” consists of rooms in the form of “friendly monsters”, designed as wall sculptures, room furniture, or floor graphics. With the double volume space and an upper-deck platform bed, each room is treated like an art gallery, creatively put together for one to enjoy the artwork and unique loft experience.
There are minimal landscape areas except for the air-well and the roof garden. For the air-well, we designed catwalks with planting troughs and auto-irrigation system for every storey against the parti wall, for ease of cleaning the glass lift shaft and the windows, and for plants maintenance as and when needed. Therefore taking the lift becomes pleasurable with view of the green wall and the fish pond at the air-well.
The roof garden is at the rear of the building on the second storey, above an existing sub-station. This posed a challenge as any wet facility such as swimming pool or jacuzzi should not be directly above the substation, therefore the location for this facility is limited to one side. In addition, as the first storey floor-to-floor height is not high, the design does not allow for large trees due to insufficient soil depth. Yet, in order to ensure privacy from opposite shophouses, we designed for thick tall bushes on the edges of the roof garden, which also serves as a backdrop to the colourful mosaic-cladded jacuzzi.
Wanderlust is a whimsical mix of themes, with the main aim of creating a fun playground for adventure loving travellers, drawing out the child-likeness of every guest.
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