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Project of the Week

The Prestige by Ministry of Design

Read time 4 minutes

  • Design House: Ministry of Design
  • Project Name: The Prestige
  • Location: George Town, Penang, Malaysia
  • Area: 8,570m²

Penang's latest hotel by Singapore-based studio, Ministry of Design, showcases a uniquely modern-day take on Victorian design.

Nestled amongst the English colonial buildings of George Town, The Prestige Hotel pays reference to its historical past. Yet also differentiates itself with contemporary, minimalist features, and an exciting aspect of 'visual trickery'.

Take a quick tour of the project below.

The reception of the hotel features a bold, 'maze-like' floor.
The reception of the hotel features a bold, 'maze-like' floor.

On entering the hotel, guests are greeted with a reception desk that appears to balance on chrome orbs and a bold patterned floor. The floor is designed to feel like a marble maze that guests have to navigate to find their way in.

This feature, although subtle, ensures that an aspect of illusion is introduced from the very beginning of your stay.

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Continuing with this theme, magician's props are dotted around the hotel. Rooms too, feature 'beds that seem to levitate', and 'hidden doors' which lead through to guest bathrooms and pantries (shown below).

The studio introduced elements of visual surprise, notions of magic and illusions, with the end goal of creating delightful spaces and memorable guest experiences.
Bedrooms continue the theme of illusion with levitating beds and hidden doorways.
Bedrooms continue the theme of illusion with levitating beds and hidden doorways.
The bathrooms feature bursts of botanical prints, alongside angular polished brass frames.
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The bathrooms feature bursts of botanical prints, alongside angular polished brass frames.

Throughout the hotel, Ministry of Design also pays reference to the sites colonial history with their bold use of 'tropical' prints and hothouse-style selection of greenery.

Though these may not seem to suggest typical Victorian design, they subtly hint to the Victorian fascination with botanical gardens and 'exotic' vegetation.

A touch of magic in a Victorian, Tropical Eden.
The 'Glass House' is inspired by the traditional English Conservatory.
The 'Glass House' is inspired by the traditional English Conservatory.

The hotel's restaurant, The Glass House, continues this theme, taking its inspiration from the English Conservatory, which became popular during the Victorian era.

The studio applied a lattice pattern to the metal-framed walls and glazing of the Glasshouse restaurant, presenting it as a delightful garden conservatory for breakfasts, lunches and dinners.

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Interesting monochrome patterns are designed to play with the eye and keep guest continually engaged.
Interesting monochrome patterns are designed to play with the eye and keep guest continually engaged.

As you venture further through the hotel, you are greeted with a continual array of surprises, illusions and mystery. Through the Ministry of Design's spectacular attention to detail and historical references, a distinctive and memorable stay has been created.

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