[MEL18]

2018 Melbourne 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]

 
Image Credit : 1. DP Architects 2. Bai Jiwen Courtesy of DP Architects 3. Novotel Mercure Singapore on Stevens 4. Evan Lim & Co. Pte Ltd 5. Oxley Gem Pte Ltd

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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 Architects Pte Ltd

Project Brief

People. Designed in the shape of the Chinese character ren '人' which means people, the development honours without reservation the guests, diners, builders, workers and all persons whom the hotel depend upon for its existence.

The ren '人' form carves the triangular site into three distinctive public spaces: a grand arrival space to the south, an infinity pool with a view of the lawn to the east and a stretch of lush landscape flanking hotel facilities to the west.

The curving glass tower floats sensuously above a spread of organic glass pods amidst the landscaping. Apart from the spaces supporting the hotels, these pods accommodate a myriad of restaurants of global cuisines.

Novotel & Mercure Singapore on Stevens can be seen as a microcosm of Singapore, an analogous representation of the Garden City.

Project Innovation/Need

Typically, properties of the similar brand profile offer a consistent style with little regard to the surrounding context. The cookie-cutter hotels, more often than not, simply achieve the minimum standard of requirements set out by the hotel brand.

With the explosive growth in the number of hotel rooms in Singapore, supply of hotel rooms was rapidly exceeding demand. A new approach towards designing hotels was needed, one in which we would eschew the cookie-cutter approach and instead focus on adding value to the guest’s stay.

Taking advantage of the sprawling location on the city fringe, free from the dense concrete jungle of the city, we are able to design and position the development as an oasis of calm. Green organic pods housing a myriad of food and beverage options are scattered throughout the site, many boasting spacious al-fresco spaces, a luxury rarely afforded by similar hotels or commercial properties in and around the city. Facilities including the two pools and the large gym are superior to similar hotels, injecting value to the hotel in an increasingly saturated market.

Design Challenge

Flanking the hotels are posh, private residences. To construct a development of this magnitude required sensitivity towards the privacy of the residents and the expectations of the affluent neighbourhood. Liberal and extensive landscaping as well as the use of creepers and high-level planters on the facade were incorporated into the design to reduce the impact of the hotel tower.

With both hotels sharing a common back-of-house but each being served by different groups of staff, there was extensive discussion and collaboration with the hotel operator to optimise the use of space and streamline the staff movement within the development. Most importantly, while an individual identity is created for each hotel, with distinct interior design schemes; the architectural expression retains an underlying unity through its design.

Sustainability

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.




This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow. 
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