The Prestige Hotel

Designed by: Ministry of Design Pte
For client: Public Packages Holdings Berhad Floor area: 8570.00 M² Year of completion: 2019
Submitted for: Hotel of the Year

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© Edward Hendricks from CI&A Photography

While Victorian heritage and botany are key to the design, several tongue-in-cheek references to magical illusion abound. The reception desk is made of concave mirrored stainless steel, creating a distorted reflection seemingly balanced on chrome spheres,

About the Project

“A Touch of Magic in a Tropical, Victorian Eden”
The Prestige Hotel is set in Georgetown’s UNESCO World Heritage site, amongst 19th-century English colonial buildings, and features 162 rooms, restaurant, rooftop infinity pool, events pavilion, & a vibrant Victorian dining/retail arcade.
To differentiate itself from 2 common approaches by other hotels, our design neither mimics heritage nor is purely modern. Conceptually grounding the design in “Transposed Heritage”, i.e. to run with the old and create something fresh yet familiar, we developed its narrative beyond this to include whimsical elements inspired by visual illusion.
The lobby mullions are crafted from champagne-bronze-tinted metal for a contemporised Victorian aesthetic. The restaurant is a modernised Victorian conservatory with a simplified wrought-metal lattice pattern. Lift lobbies feature a champagne-bronze-tinted window-portal framing lush planting, etched with Victorian grille-like patterning.
In the lobby, as a cheeky reference to magical illusion, guests are invited to navigate a marble floor maze with brass trimmings. The reception is made of concave mirrored stainless steel, creating a distorted reflection seemingly balanced on chrome spheres.
In the rooms, the Shower & Wardrobe Enclosure crafted with champagne-bronze-tinted metal & glass takes aesthetic cues from Houdini’s escape box. Other visual illusions include seemingly levitating beds, & hidden doors that reveal toilet cubicles & pantries.

What’s unique about it

“Transposed Heritage: creating something fresh yet familiar”
Arising from the commercial impetus to stand out from Penang’s growing slew of design-oriented hotels, our design neither mimics heritage nor is purely modern. Combining characterful elements of historic context with a modern sensibility, we sought to "transpose heritage"; not to be ruled by it, but to run with it to create something fresh yet familiar.
We developed the narrative further to include whimsical elements inspired by visual illusion. Initially needing to overcome the monotony of 143-meter long guestroom corridors, our response was to employ “visual illusions”: designing alternating dark & light colour zones, and placing rotating shadow-casting luminaries to animate the guest journey. Excited by its potential, we subtly introduced other elements such as “levitation” & “concealment” throughout the guest experience.
Another innovation is the GF typology which responds to the tropical climate. We planned the Lobby, Restaurant & retail stores as ‘standalone storefronts’ interconnected by naturally ventilated walkways. An alternative to the typical fully air-conditioned hotel, this utilizes the alfresco spaces for dining, dwelling & circulation, and breaks down the linear scale of the long building, recalling a ‘shop-in-shop’ concept, reminiscent of the historical English shopping arcade.
Since its launch, regional & local market response have been positive, with occupancy rates averaging 85-95%

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© Edward Hendricks from CI&A Photography

Modernizing the Victorian conservatory with a simplified wrought-metal lattice pattern, the Glasshouse restaurant is presented as an all-day-dining garden conservatory offering people-watching on forest-green leather banquettes, facing the front street, o

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© Edward Hendricks from CI&A Photography

In the guestrooms, our modern take on Victorian wainscoting, was to craft angular trapezium-shaped lines, which provide a contemporized backdrop for the room. The suite also features a custom designed clock at the sofa area, which doubles up as a wall fe

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© Edward Hendricks from CI&A Photography

The suite provides a layered and rich experience, beginning with the lower level featuring the vanity and bath zone, which transits to the display wardrobe before arriving at the double-height lounge space. In the lower zone, a key feature is the Shower a

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© Edward Hendricks from CI&A Photography

Taking the lift to the room levels on L2-3, and to the Event spaces on L4, is a confluence of modern Victorian layered with local botany. The lift lobby surprises with a champagne bronze tinted feature wall with etched patterning inspired by Victorian gri

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© Edward Hendricks from CI&A Photography

The event experience culminates in an open-to-sky infinity-edge rooftop pool and deck. A perfect place to watch the sunset with a cocktail, it boasts a vantage point fronting the Church Street Pier and views to Peninsular Malaysia. This pool side deck spa

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© Edward Hendricks from CI&A Photography

On the rooftop, a combination of Victorian-inspired outdoor gazebos (featuring comfortable lounge settings amidst planters of greenery and ceiling fans) and indoor function spaces (featuring mullions with fluted glass, providing privacy while maintaining

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© Edward Hendricks from CI&A Photography

As a tongue-in-cheek nod towards ‘magical illusion’, guests are invited to navigate a white marble-clad maze with brass trimmings, towards the ‘double P’ brass crest in the center. The mirror-image “P”s refer to Prestige being located in Penang and hinge

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© Edward Hendricks from CI&A Photography

Together with Architect KL Wong, we planned the ground floor such that the Lobby, Glasshouse Restaurant, and tenanted lifestyle retail/F&B spaces are designed as ‘standalone storefronts’ interconnected by naturally ventilated walkways. Our proposal sought

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© Edward Hendricks from CI&A Photography

Arising from the commercial impetus to stand out from Penang’s growing slew of design-oriented hotels, we conceptually grounded the design in “Transposed Heritage” (i.e. to combine the most characterful elements of the historic context with an innovative

Location of project:
Credits:
Goodwood Builders Sdn Bhd

Pena Builders Sdn Bhd

L.O.T Consultant

Unitech QS Consultancy Sdn Bhd

KL Wong architect Sdn Bhd

Innovasia Fabrics Sdn. Bhd.

Royal Thai

KOHLER

GH Consultants Sdn Bhd

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