The New Majestic Hotel is an imaginative change-ofuse of the traditional Singapore shophouse and provides a welcome alternative to the standard international hotel experience. The project is an excellent example of design collaboration involving the client, consultants and other artists. The design solution displays creativity and fun, with the integration of art and the clever use of small spaces to provide a memorable experience. Light is skillfully used to bring new life to historically dark spaces. The Jury enjoyed the sense of theatre the designer has brought to this project. Always provocative, the hotel is a talking point for both visitors and Singapore residents alike, and is an icon among boutique hotels.
DR ERWIN VIRAY
DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE,
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE
The New Majestic hotel is a new world that has not been seen before - a room made; a space that excites, shelters, comforts. Each space is unique, each an individual configuration giving rise to distinctive experience.
These words are attempts to describe the beauty of the experience of the New Majestic Hotel. The words are means to recognize the qualities of the space and experience. The words also trigger the curiosity on the process that give rise to the atmosphere of the place and the quality of experience.
The process of evolution of the hotel is not readily apparent most of the time, yet in this case, it is an intrinsic component of the place. The work and the process show how the impetus of the existing could act as the transforming element in giving a new life to an unfilled form. The Majestic Hotel shows the process of dancing with its context, reacting to it, and responding to the power of the site and situation to inspire certain specific actions.
The project also shows a search, the act of defining a zeitgeist or the spirit of the times. In this instance, the new hotel consumer; perhaps single, or a group of young people who value their individuality, whilst wishing to connect. This understanding is materialized in the arrangements of the rooms, how they can be individual and at the same, easily connected.
The New Majestic Hotel address issues of the site, typology, and perception. In addressing these, the occupant of the space is the visual and performative focus. The person is staged. The space shows the theatrical aspects of crafting spaces, of being aware of the perceptual manner of the person moving in the space and the means to respond to that. Light is skillfully used to induce and invoke certain atmospheres that frame the senses of the inhabitant enjoying the space.
This building shows the process of how working relationships, how the strengths of different people can come together to craft a space: how a client can pose a question, how he can lay down conditions for the designer, the artist, the engineer, et al, so all may perform like an orchestra to enchant and to house the occupant of the space. It is a performance that allows for serendipitous encounters, that makes possible the encounter to feel the space: be enveloped by space and initiate some time for being - a self.
This performance is possible with a brilliant conductor, as in a wonderful symphony, In the New Majestic Hotel, the designer, Colin Seah of the Ministry of Design, managed to orchestrate the deft performance of all the players to play in harmony. It is the attitude, discipline, and constant questioning that Colin pursues, which makes this space and place a possibility.
MS CONSTANCE ANN
INTERNATIONAL DESIGN CONFEDERATION
Colin's design style at the New Majestic Hotel, Bukit Pasoh Hotel, truly stands out amongst the rest, this is in spite of the fact that the hotel enjoys no 6 stars status. Six unique design styles alone for the rooms within a boutique hotel and mind you; each design is unique to itself. Colin has masterly worked around the existing structure form and shape of the building and virtually transformed it to the present palette of extraordinary layout and design from lobby to restaurant and rooms.
The execution was brilliant, working within the constraints of oddly shaped windowless rooms, bizarrely placed door entrances, super-high ceilings and all kinds of odd layouts. Colin conquered them all with a cleverly thought design concept and layout, capitalising on the constraints and redesigning along the location the open garden terraces and the windows, thus practically bringing in the exterior environment into the interior of the room. This indirectly creates the experience of living in a many-roomed mansion rather than checking into a mere hotel. The unusual yet strategic location of the bath and shower areas for each room truly is a testament of the depth of Colin’s design conceptualisation where form truly meets function. The rooms were further enhanced with cheeky graphic images of Singapore old and new, this in a way paying homage to the old building where once immigrants and traders once passed through its portals, it inspires one to reminisce.
I believe the message Colin wants to share is that the historical architectural in Singapore is worthy of preservation with creative solutions and even enhanced functionality. His creation is a simple storyboard which subtly captures our city states, evolutions from small trading port to developed nation, where we appreciate our culture and history. Further, Colin makes a bold statement that Singaporean interior designers are on par with the best; this is evidenced by the wide coverage of the New Majestic Hotel by both local and foreign media.