The historical context, and the opportunity to reinterpret it, formed the basis for the design and branding of this hotel. Attention to detail introduced further layers to the narrative, so guests can experience a keener sense of space and time.
In a way we were given a blank slate, an opportunity to rethink the meaning of history from a hospitality perspective. Do we recreate a past that may be relevant to the city but not to the actual building? Does it need to be a thematic experience? Is it always about nostalgia? Or is there an alternative way to think about history that may be more open, more progressive and less defined?
In reinterpreting history, we saw an opportunity for the hotel to fill an important gap in the narrative of the street, the city and its place and time in the world. We adapted copper and brass as a key material palette to help us interpret the different spaces and experiences. The resulting spaces were logical but were also unusual in their configurations allowing guest to have different experiences staying in a shophouse and Penang.
While the design of the building and rooms responded more to the local context, we wanted a more global narrative when it comes the naming and furnishings within the rooms. In a way, the romance of travel is to connect with new worlds, we wanted to connect the hotel and their guests with the past, the present and future of Penang and the rest of the world.