Design & Concept of
Macalister Mansion

Ministry of Design, Singapore

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Designed and branded as a lifestyle oriented 'residence', the Macalister Mansion and the 6 F&B and Hotel entities that comprise it have been conceived as a single holistic vision by the Ministry of Design based in Singapore.

Led by its Design Director Colin Seah, the design differentiates itself from the local boutique hotel scene by its intimate scale, contemporary design and attention to details - design ranging from art curation to uniforms, branding to interior design and everything else in between. Set against the backdrop of a conserved mansion, the heritage spaces have been carefully adapted and key features conserved and infused with contemporary design, allowing the project to strike a balance between the nostalgia of the past and a vision of relevance for the future.

When Colin was first approached by the client Dato' Sean to conceive of a lifestyle based offering which would enliven the hotel and dining scene in Penang, it was readily agreed that the new offering in the restored colonial mansion would stem from a holistic vision, with the 8 rooms and the 5 F&Bs forming a holistic brand with a distinctive positioning.

The design process spanned an 8 month period from February to September 2011, with Colin and Dato' Sean working collaboratively to produce a design for a stunning set of 6 distinct entities offering sophistication in a singular package.

In the 12 months of construction that followed, there were multiple meetings held to discuss the major infrastructural work required to restore a colonial mansion, e.g. retaining and reinforcing original columns, staircases and archways, removing plaster to reveal the original brick walls and wall cornices, and repairing and soundproofing original windows for contemporary hospitality use. As an extension of the grounds, Colin and his team also masterplanned an event lawn where large-scaled parties can be hosted. Beside the lawn is a mosaic lap pool with a feature sunken 'swim-up' pool bar at one end. Guests of the hotel also enjoy additional gym, computer lounge and library.