Local Inspiration for Contemporary Design: Hilton Singapore Orchard
Focused on bringing spaces back to life, Avalon Collective takes a pre-existing building and transforms it into a contemporary hotel that relates to the locality and origins of Orchard Road, while capturing its modern retail context. Through a consistent design language and spirit that incorporates history and regeneration, the new Hilton Singapore Orchard has been selected among the five winners of the 2022 Best of Globe Winner.
Renovation Process: A Modern Style that Respects Locality
Before proposing a new layout, the project gave special consideration to its surrounding built environment, honoring Orchard Road’s agricultural heritage. Reevaluating the existing plan, the studio analyzed the structural and space limitations in order to draw a congruent design language that could redefine the guest’s experience.
Taking advantage of the pre-existing lobby’s double height ceiling, the new design creates a light and airy space for guests to enjoy a drink while watching people pass by. With a lower ceiling height, the inner seating area resembles a modern bar inside an intimate space for socializing and interaction. With a reconfiguration of the parking space, it builds over 2000 square meters for meeting spaces.
Bridging the past and the present, the project is able to adopt “The Orchard Trail” as an overarching concept, while integrating ongoing architectural trends that respond to current needs.
Design: Clean Lines with Sensitive Materials
Through structural architectural lines –derived from the vertical and horizontal lines that characterize the Orchard Trail– combined with natural elements and tones, the studio establishes a distinct concept for the design approach.
Contrasting the identity of its previous modern classical aesthetics, the new space makes use of clean lines to bring the urban structural language inside, giving a modern contemporary touch. Keeping some distance from the buzzing street, the use of soft natural and light wood texture creates a multisensory experience that enhances tranquility and calmness.
Complementing traditional built-in elements, the design brings loose furniture and fixtures to the scene, enabling flexibility in the use of space. Leaning towards soft angles and structured linearity makes the room combine sophistication with spatial harmony.
Layout: Differentiation of Spaces
Keeping in line with the orchard trail experience throughout the whole layout, the new hotel’s design classifies the different spaces through six concepts: The Elements (Reception), The Conservatory (Lobby Lounge), The Shed (Lobby Bars), The Foliage (Guestrooms), The Smart Oasis (Meeting Facilities), and The Seed Treasure (Presidential Suite).
Arriving on the fifth level, the guests enter a sizeable, yet intimate space before the reception. Screened by a pillar and four vertical panels, two stand-alone bronze featured lights function as a divider between the lift lobby and an inviting seating space. Attributing to the trail elements, the design adds texture to the reception with the presence of dark wood panels and sculpted wood for its backdrop setting.
Separating the reception and the lobby lounge into two different areas, the new design creates more intimate spaces that build on the experience. Following the walkway, guests arrive at “the new heart of the hotel,” the lobby lounge, which has a flexible design that varies from being a high-tea experience during the day to a lobby bar at night. With two atmospheres, the outer sitting spaces are visualized as a glasshouse that allows natural light to enter, while the inner spaces assimilate the mood of a dark shed for night bar activities.
The project has considered the use of layering from every angle within each space; particularly when you look at detailing and proportions. – Jason Horton, IFI Co-Opted Board Member / Design Studio Lead at CBRE Japan & juror for our 2022 Best of Globe Panel
For meeting facilities, the proposal envisioned an interconnected village, where business spaces share a communal breakout lounge with an open pantry and courtyard. Blending seamlessly with nature, all these facilities were refurbished with the right materials and systems. Exploring different possibilities to maximize the low ceiling height (2.55m) and the existing structure, the proposal incorporates comfort, functionality and style.
The presidential suite design plays with different materials –such as marble, dark timber and leather– to stimulate a multisensory experience. Besides incorporating a study and a reading niche to create intimate corners within the living area, the layout displays a curved back sofa as a centerpiece to divide the dining and living areas. With references from cardamom, clove, pepper, and nutmeg seeds, the living space develops a natural palette to conceive a grounded character that follows the wood-paneled wall. The bedroom is designed through defined lines and gentle curves at its edges to enhance the continuity of the visual language from the living spaces.
Celebrating design and its ability to influence our everyday lives, the Shaw Contract Design Awards aims to recognize spaces that inspire new –and sustainable– ways of living, working and learning. After evaluating each project’s methods and contributions to the built environment, the five winners were chosen by panels of design professionals from across the world.
For more information on this year’s Best of Globe winners, visit Shaw Contract’s Design Awards program.