Switzerland, much like Singapore, shares some parallels in that it owes its existence mostly to its geography. Just as Singapore is an island surrounded by water, Switzerland is surrounded mostly by high and mountainous regions. Locked in and out of necessity, the Swiss found ways to innovate with what they had and became very good at it. This became what has come to be recognised as ‘Swiss-made’, in a nod to the level of precision characteristic of Swiss watches.
DESIGN CONCEPT: BEHIND THE DNA OF SWISS DESIGN
Key design concepts that are behind the Swiss mindset are: practicality, precision, innovation, elegance and effortlessness.
The kanji that is used to represent the concept of clear, harmonious design is Wa, which signifies harmony and is the essence of the Zen aesthetic found in Japanese traditional art and design, as well as life in general. The design concept of the project was inspired by Wa and drew on practical elegance and other features that contribute to the Swissmade characteristic.
Local flavour is injected through the artworks on the wall, which subtly weaves Singaporean and Swiss subjects into a continuous narrative.
The room features a valet stand at the entrance. The valet stand, with its many components and functions, is an analogy of the Swiss watch box, where everything has its place. An umbrella stand and a shoe platform have been added to the valet stand to strengthen the local connection.
In a nod to the Swiss vernacular, a twist to the timber flooring was added—solid wood inserts that are reminiscent of an actual Swiss lodge. The rug designs were derived from the timber flooring and veneer wood wall slats. The Swiss attention to detail was important in the design of the room. The room was designed to prompt guests in the art of discovery, which is key to finding how the room works—everything fits together like the dials on a Swiss watch.
The minibar and its components function as an analogy of the Swiss watch box, where everything has its place, with the element of a surprise finish within the cabinetry. Special attention was given to the placement of the condiments, cutlery, glass and stem drawer. The typical Swiss lifestyle is accentuated with various touch points around the room. The room snack basket was designed with a picnic basket in mind. The accent chair is a modern interpretation of the rocking chair and one of the bedside tables is a modern take on the Swiss life-saving brandy barrel.
One constraint faced was that the size and shape of the bathrooms could not be changed. In the bathroom, each vanity counter features a Vanity Box that is packed full of useful toiletries. There are spaces for the guests to arrange their own items neatly and serve as further analogies of the Swiss watch boxes, where everything has its place.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL
The Swiss cross is subtly referenced throughout the room—in the stitching details, bookshelves, robe hooks, door pulls, artworks and wall expressions. The materials were sourced through local suppliers and selected to bring across the vision of the rooms and set the mood. Although all products originated from abroad, Swiss products were consciously used where possible—for example, the water closet is from the Swiss brand Laufen.
Status: Under construction
Expected Completion: 4Q 2018
Gross Floor Area: 107,767 square metres
Number of rooms: 1,252
Building Height: 226 metres
Client/Owner: RC Hotels
Architecture Firm: I.M. Pei
Principal Architect: I.M. Pei
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Cundall
Quantity Surveyor: Quants
Main Contractor: To be progressively awarded
Interior Design Firm: Wilson Associates
Interior Fit-Out Contractor: Sunray Woodcraft Construction Pte Ltd (mock-up room)
Images/Photos: Wilson Associates