2018 London Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Novotel and Mercure Singapore on Stevens [DRAFT]

Photo Credit : Marc Tey


Project Overview

Located along the arterial road that leads to Singapore’s iconic Orchard Road, Novotel & Mercure Singapore on Stevens is a unique 10-storey development housing two hotels and an eclectic array of F&B outlets.

Unlike its other contemporaries in the vicinity, Novotel & Mercure Singapore on Stevens is a rarity as it boasts a large land footprint of which a substantial proportion is dedicated to lush landscaping and a sprawling lawn ideal for picnics and al-fresco dining.

It is a garden oasis crafted in response to the surrounding urban landscape. The design and planning created a green respite at the fringe of the city for not only for hotel guests but the neighbouring residences as well.

Project Commissioner

Oxley Holdings Limited

Project Creator

DP Design Ltd

Project Brief

The design concept takes the form of a series of organic glass pods which house the different programmes. These pods spill out from under the hotel tower, like pebbles sprinkled over a lawn, and engage with the surrounding urban context.

This effectively draws the public into the development to enjoy the dining choices and amenities offered within. Creeper plants form a floral crown to these pods, complementing the meadowed groundscapes; together, they create an inviting lush garden setting. Taking on an urban character that is in keeping with the surrounding Singapore skyline, the sleek glass tower housing the two hotels floats above. The distinctive sweeping wings accommodating the guest rooms take their form from the Chinese character ‘ren’ (人, meaning people).

The 人 form carves the triangular site into three distinctive public places: a grand drop-off to the south allows for an inspirational hotel arrival sequence, a more secluded hotel pool and courtyard space to the east, and a functional sports zone to the west. This form allows each wing of guestrooms an optimal distance from the remaining wings, generous aspects and an efficient circulation core at its fulcrum. As guests arrive at their final destination – their guestroom, the character 人 that formed the inspiration for the hotel is revealed to them – they are one individual among the many others who designed, built, work in and enjoy this place.

Project Need

Appearing as a one-stop space that offers dining, leisure and business facilities, these spaces are cleverly designed such that they serve several functions – working spaces, informal meetings and social gatherings in a causal setting. At the same time, this creates a naturally pleasant, well-balanced environment for leisure, business and respite. Fundamentally, these designs tell stories of locality – how the development responds to its context and neighbourhood, and weaves into the existing community and social fabrics. Additionally, it creates opportunities for visitors to be an integral part of the unique hospitality experience.

Design Challenge

With limited space and footprint, room sizes and branding guidelines, Novotel Singapore on Stevens demonstrated how innovative use of space through detailed planning can transform spaces to be multi-purpose, inclusive and one that encourages more social interactions. It challenges the perception of the traditional star rating system through design.

The solution was to do this hotel differently from the others under the same brand and surpassing current perceptions. The design was geared towards creating delightful and positive surprises to the customer through purposeful design and careful planning. This was achieved with the close collaboration between architects, interior designers and landscape architects.


With the development certified under Singapore’s Building Construction Authority Greenmark scheme, the use of sustainable products was prevalent in all design considerations. Most building components such as drain cells, drymix, dry wall panel, precast wall panel, insulation wool, water proofing are certified green products.

While each floor had floor-to-ceiling glass to maximise natural daylight and increase spatial quality, there was a huge concern on how such large surfaces of glass would lead to the increase in temperature within the building via the greenhouse effect. To resolve this, installation of double-glazed glass for the main façade limited the amount of heat from entering the building in turn generating savings on the air conditioning. The air conditioning system itself uses a high efficiency chiller and eco-friendly refrigerant (R134a). Further to the intent of saving electricity, all public toilets are fitted with motion detectors lights and most of the hotel areas are equipped with lighting scene control to minimise electricity use.

The heavy water use for irrigation to upkeep the lush landscaping is reduced with the use of recycled water and the automated irrigation carefully monitored with a water usage monitoring system. The development is also NEWater ready, ready to tap onto the nation-wide recycled water program when the public piping works are installed. The extensive landscaping and hundreds of shade trees planted on site not only provides ambience but also reduces the urban heat island effect and creates a cooler atmosphere with better air quality.

Open to all international projects this award celebrates innovative and creative building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes, aesthetic presentation and functionality. Consideration also given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.  

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