Hotel Mono, Singapore

Designed by: Spacedge Designs
For client: Eighteen M Pte Ltd Floor area: 1394.00 M² Year of completion: 2016
Nominated for: Hotel of the Year

Facade

Paring the hotel’s facade down to black and white has made it a striking counterpoint to the cacophony of colour in its neighbourhood.

About the Project

Hotel Mono is a striking new landmark in the historic Chinatown area in Singapore, the result of an extensive refurbishment of six conservation shophouses by Spacedge Designs. Once a rundown budget hotel, the 46-room establishment now radiates an assertive design language. For its design, Hotel Mono exceeds standard expectations of what hotels should look like. It appeals to young social-media-savvy travellers who place a high value on design in their choice of lodging, and the client will back this by offering affordable room rates.

Besides creating strong visual branding for the hotel, the monochromatic colour scheme is also a calming sight for guests after they return from exploring the city. To meet the tight time and budget constraints of the project, Spacedge Designs used simple low-cost materials to create high design value. Examples include the old-school mosaic used in the bathrooms, and the 38-mm-thick black metal bar which serves as a light source, clothes rack, and sculpture in all the rooms. The pared-down minimalism of Hotel Mono has created a new design typology for small independent hotels as well as for heritage shophouses in Singapore.

What’s unique about it

The similarities between most hotel designs nowadays is regrettable and leaves guests unimpressed. So Spacedge Designs decided to throw away the rulebook and offer a fresh experience to guests with a new take on the interiors of heritage buildings such as Singaporean shophouses.

The designers maintainted their signature style of simple yet strong aesthetics with a minimalist design language. Black and white dominate the interiors to create a landscape of linear beauty, one which focuses on lines, grids, and basic shapes. When monochromes are layered with graphic and structured elements, the space is overcome with visually enticing designs.

Due to the tight timeline and budget, low-cost materials were used to create high design value. The solution lay in using a 38-mm-thick square black hollow metal bar which ‘travels’ through the white rooms like a line drawn in space. The bar is also a light casing and clothes hanger. Built-in items such as the cantilevered desks and bathroom toiletry ledges feature the same 38-mm-thick edges to reinforce the leitmotif, while loose furniture such as chairs are modelled after AG Fronzoni's Serie 64 furniture. The beds are designed so that guests are able to stash their luggage underneath.

The mosaic used in the common areas and in the bathrooms is another dominant material chosen for its cost-effectiveness and durability. The nude hues of the mosaic in the bathroom, such as pink, beige and brown, is a nod to the multicultural population of Singapore, while the mosaic itself is a link to Singapore homes of the past.

Lobby

The lobby stands out for its minimalist forms in black and white, such as the six-metre long bench, cantilevered reception counter, and ball chair set into the wall.

Lobby 2

With its circular outline, the ball chair in the lobby is as minimalist as the rest of the hotel, but still provides a delightful contrast to its rigid lines.

Loft

The only room in the hotel with a mezzanine level, the Loft features a dramatic skeletal structure which incorporates a staircase up to the room’s second sleeping area.

Family Type 1

The design motif of a black 38-mm bar is echoed throughout the rooms – in the bespoke furniture and in the overhead bar – to create the hotel’s strong design identity.

Family Type 2

Rare for the Chinatown area are large rooms like this Family room, which consists of two King-sized beds placed facing each other to encourage communication.

Double Plus

The rooms’ iconic black bar adds visual drama to what would be just another white space. It also functions as a lighting bar, clothes hanger, and in the case of this room, a canopy.

Single

The bathroom wall has been replaced by clear glass in this Single room, which not only makes the room look larger, and also brings the graphic design of the bathroom into the space.

Corridor

The narrow corridors of the shophouses are opened out with vinyl fabric-look flooring underfoot, and exposed ACMV systems above. The wayfinding graphics were also customised for the hotel.

Location of project:
Credits:
Spacedge Designs

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