- Article by Online Editor
Located in the UNESCO World Heritage site of George Town, Penang, The Prestige hotel is a modern-day interpretation of Victorian design.
Created by Ministry of Design, the independent luxury hotel is located along Church Street, Penang, within the core zone of the George Town UNESCO World Heritage site. The Prestige is a new-build, joining intricate Victorian buildings, which still house banking and commercial facilities.
While the colonial Victorian heritage and tropics are key elements of the design concept, the studio was challenged by the difficult condition of the site with its long narrow proportions, which
potentially made navigating the hotel’s retail arcade or its long guestroom corridors a monotonous experience.
To overcome this, the studio introduced “elements of visual trickery and surprise” throughout the 162-room hotel; ranging from the transformation of familiar heritage floor patterns, a custom reception desk that seems to balance on balls, and hidden doors in guestrooms that open to reveal toilets and pantries.
For example, Ministry of Designalternated dark and light colour schemes along the guestroom corridors to break down the potential monotony of the corridor experience. Mechanised light features are placed at regular intervals to rotate and cast shadows of intricate lattice patterns to animate the guest journey.
The ground floor has been designed to look like a lifestyle arcade with the reception, The Glasshouse restaurant and retail spaces (tenants include San Francisco Coffee, a local clothing brand,
florist and pharmacy) are designed as standalone stores.
The inspiration for The Glasshouse came from English Victorian conservatories and the studio applied a lattice pattern to the metal-framed walls and glazing of the restaurant to emulate this.
The space offers a variety of seating areas, either on forest-green leather banquettes, facing the street for people-watching, or on white wicker chairs facing the lush landscaped alfresco areas at the back.
Guest rooms, meanwhile, have clean lines and a simple colour palette of pale pinks and blues. As a modern take on Victorian wainscoting, angular trapezium-shaped lines have been crafted, which provide a contemporary backdrop for the room.
Photography by Edward Hendricks and CI&A Photography