Majestic design

Majestic design

DP Architects, Ministry of Design, New Majestic Hotel, Singapore

SINGAPORE: It’s been five years since the New Majestic Hotel opened in Chinatown, Singapore, but it still emphasises strong design, local culture and the arts.

The architect was DP Architects, and the interior design was carried out by Ministry of Design, under the principal Colin Seah.

The hotel, under the management of KMC Holdings Pte Ltd, opened to promote the New Asia genre of hotels, where history co-exists with modernity and international trends meet local designs.

The owner of the hotel, Loh Lik Peng said he did not give a detailed brief to his designers, instead deciding to work with someone he trusted. He said it was important to give designers autonomy.

“I think it (the design) should always be a collaborative effort and something that allows the designers to be creative,” said Peng.

From the open concept period-inspired lobby with restored vintage Compton fans, to the pool with glass inserts floating above the restaurant, to the selection of period colonial furniture from Singapore in the 1920s-1960s, New Majestic Hotel is an eclectic mix of heritage.

Each of the 30 rooms are different, from its vintage and designer furniture to the customised baths. Room highlights include suites with private gardens and attic style rooms with loft beds with six-metre high ceilings. There are four types of interiors: the Mirror Room, the Loft Room, the Hanging Bed Room and the Aquarium Room.

The hotel is housed in a conservation building, which means it came with restrictions on what can be done with them.

“These restrictions, which many people saw as a disadvantage, I saw as an opportunity. Why shouldn’t we do each room differently if we can?” he added.

The Mirror Room features mirrors on the walls, climbing up to the ceiling, and returning to the ground to form the bed-head. The Hanging Bed Room has murals spanning whole walls, which form the bed-head behind a modern interpretation of the classic four-poster bed.

In the Aquarium Room, a glass-encased bathtub dominates the middle of the room. In the Loft Room, resting on slender columns, the sleeping chamber floats above in a light filled attic space, celebrating the architectural qualities of the classic Singaporean Shophouse.

New Majestic Hotel collaborated with Asian Art Options to use local art in the hotel with nine of Singapore’s emerging artists: Safaruddin Abdul Hamid (aka Dyn), Andre Tan, Lee Meiling, Heleston Chew, Tay Bee Aye, Kng Mian Tze, Miguel Chew, Sandra Lee and Justin Lee.

Peng said he started out with a long list of local artists and whittled it down to the ones who best fit the vision he had for the hotel.

“I often work with professional curators and this helps in terms of getting a critical eye on the works of different artists,” he said.

It also features five rooms personalised by individuals from different fields of work. Each person was given free rein over their individual rooms – from flooring selection, to the colour of the walls, and personalised interior decoration.

Working with niche luxury brand, Ploh, which develops down pillows and bedding, the hotel used the bolster (long narrow pillow) in its design and has added feather pillows, a featherbed, and a lightweight white goose down duvet.

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