Restored and refurbished by Aedas, Raffles Hotel Singapore has officially reopened in August 2019 since its opening in 1887. Aedas lead a multi-disciplinary team for the hotel restoration, including heritage consultant Studio Lapis, interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud and concept interior designer Jouin Maku (BBR Restaurant by Chef Alain Ducasse).It integrates heritage splendor with modern spatial design, restoring the building back to its original glory and aiming to restore its vitality for the next 100 years.With the cultural precincts within walking distance, and adjacent to the popular shopping district Orchard Road, Raffles Hotel Singapore registers its iconic presence in the heart of the city. Major A&A (additions and alterations) works were carried out to the existing three-storey Raffles Hotel and Shopping Arcade for the first time in 30 years. In the eyes of Aedas designers, Raffles is timeless. Her interiors and her spaces are classic expression of an era of grace, conviviality and civility.“From investigation, restoration to transformation, a careful “surgical” approach had to be adopted, this is after all a National Monument of Singapore and must be treated with great respect. At the same time, the Project Team had to ensure that the property down time was minimized. Since it’s a restoration project of one of the best-known monuments in Singapore, investigations of the existing deterioration and repairs needed are unprecedented in scope, due to the building’s age, and intrinsic historical value.” Project Director Dennis Chan explained.
The choice of material palette was part of the magic. State-of-the-art restoration techniques, original materials, and chemicals were applied to heal the deterioration caused by time, weather, acid rain, sea-salt corrosion, and past methods of maintenance and restoration attempts. Besides being restored and enhanced both structurally and aesthetically, the Hotel is embedded with latest green technologies. Internal spaces have been provided with energy-efficient lighting and air-conditioning, all precisely controlled from an in-room intelligent touch pad. Where practical, many of her common social spaces remain naturally ventilated and beautifully shaded by her iconic heritage trees and landscape.The Aedas team took further steps to improve accessibility for a friendly, inclusive experience. Modern accessible features are melded un-noticeable into the vintage colonial architecture.Aedas also designed a high end Chinese restaurant Yi by celebrity Chef Jereme Leung for the newly restored Raffles Hotel Singapore.Adapted from the Chinese Creation Myths, the design story of Restaurant Yi depicts the creation of Heaven and Earth by the god Pangu. The restaurant celebrates the concept of family roots and values passed on to future generations. By story-telling and reinterpretation in a modern progressive way, Lead Interior Designer Aedas aimed to create a hidden world for guests to explore within this historical landmark.Located on level three of the hotel, the restaurant is built on 595 sqm area, featuring a bar, a main dining hall, two private dining rooms, and an experience room where chef will offer guests an up-close-and personal look at himself in action showcasing his dishes.The restaurant entrance is where the guests’ journey begins. Aedas collaborated with Toronto based luxury art studio Moss & Lam to create an unforgettable art installation made from thousands of handcrafted floral elements. The entrance design depicts the Chinese mythology in the form of garden, where the bar is designed in a ’living room’ setting situated at the corner. One will find floral and refined natural materials in the finishes and furniture pieces that resonates with the concept of garden. After going through the garden tunnel, guests are greeted with the main dining hall. A series of plaster ceiling sculptures create a blanket over the guests, reminiscent of the varying shades of the sky. A refined yet humble palette of natural materials like marble and timber in the surroundings bring the earth concept to life. The restaurant walls are cladded with soft hued lacquered surface, a moon gate on the beautiful textured stone dividers, and custom modern chinoiserie artworks, makes for a coherent narrative of nature.Private dining rooms are for those special occasions. With operable acoustic wall systems between the rooms, private dining room provides space flexibility. Inspired by the egg shape where the god, Pangu was born from Chinese Creation Myths, a bespoke egg-shaped chandelier trickles down into the space from the champagne gold leaf dome. A Chinese style armoire and glass screens complete the room in a modern interpretation.“Similar to the dining experience created by Chef Jereme Leung, which is influenced by the deep rooted culinary traditions in Chinese cuisine, we wanted to harness the whimsical nature of the creation story with the experiential journey through the restaurant while celebrating beautifully curated heritage lost dishes. It was an honor for us to be a part of such a monumental project working with Chef Jereme Leung and Raffles Hotel.” Simon Thompson, Executive Principal at Aedas Singapore and Ji An, Lead Designer and Associate at Aedas said.