SINGAPORE – Ministry of Design takes its latest hospitality experiment to the contemporary streets of Tiong Bahru in Singapore. Coo Hostel is a boutique-style hospitality venue that targets the millennial generation and strives to revolutionise social interaction amongst its visitors. Guests are able to chat and connect the moment they have made their booking via a digital interest matching tool. The site connects you with like-minded travellers who are visiting the hostel at the same time. Its aim is to encourage new social groups to form to explore the neighbourhood or perhaps check out a live music event.
The design team wanted to embody the rich heritage and culture of the borough, whilst maintaining the playful core of the hostel brand’s DNA. Touted as Singapore’s first ‘sociatel’ brand, the hostel offers a digital and physical experience applied holistically across the entire experience from the design of the spaces to the witty statements plastered across the bathrooms. The striking metal mesh entrance is a clear example of how the designers paid homage to Tiong Bahru’s culture, as it mirrors the metal gates of housing estates around the area. The brand’s quirky nature, on the other hand, can be clearly seen in the suspended neon art piece shaped as an abstracted map of the neighbourhood.
The target audience of travellers who will visit the hostel recognise value, crave authenticity, are digitally savvy and are always connected. Founder of the hostel brand Silas Lee comments: ‘The inspiration is the emergence of millennial travellers who are willing to take the road less travelled. To them, travelling is no longer a leisure pursuit alone, but an opportunity to gain local insights and garner authentic experiences. We want Coo to be a home-grown brand with regional reach and grounded with Asian sensibilities.’
Photos Edward Hendricks