No.2 Dickson Road
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ARCHITECTURE / DESIGN
Hotel owner Loh Lik Peng thinks the best hotels are playgrounds for adults and the new Wanderlust in Singapore is certainly his most playful property to date. Vivid colors, cheeky mismatched designer furniture, quirky stuffed animals and friendly monsters in the guest rooms, as well as a location in Singapore’s Little India are the first hints that this property is not about the stuffy attitude and stiff service of the city’s posh business and shopping districts.
The Wanderlust’s landmarked façade, which dates to the 1920s, features a colorful Art Nouveau tile mosaic, which makes it stand out as something singular in Singapore. Once through the door, the hotel’s interior continues to surprise; Loh hired four different design teams to create a unique and uninhibitedly playful environment of each of its four floors.
Designed by Asylum, the lobby offers a chic fusion of raw industrial elements like exposed ducts – a nod to the neighborhood’s work-a-day origins – and glam details like sleek tinted mirrors and pedigreed mid-century modern furniture. Seating areas mix vintage barber chairs with sofas by the likes of Frank Gehry. By day, the big surprise – and the one that convinced Loh to buy the property in the first place – is the huge skylight that makes the buzzing lobby a luminous and tranquil space to hang out.
Conceived by Phunk Studio, the second floor rooms are each defined by a vivid and uniform color used on every surface – from walls and floors to furnishings, curtains, and even the tiles in their open bathrooms. Song titles like “Blue Monday” and “Yellow Submarine” reflecting the mood (and hue) of the rooms are written on the walls in neon lights.
On the third floor, DP Architects created crisp all-white rooms off of black hallways. Some rooms feature fun, cartoon-like evocations of jumbo stereos and other virtual amenities while others have boldly angled and faceted ceilings that evoke Japanese origami.
A giant typewriter that doubles as a sofa or a clunky red space rocket with some friendly looking (stuffed) aliens are among the surprises in the hotel’s top floor duplex apartments, designed by fFurious. Guests will never feel like they’re coming back to an empty room.