Singapore and Kuala Lumpur-based studio Ministry of Design was asked to give a renewed meaning to an icon of Malaysian architecture. Located along Penang Road in Georgetown, Penang, the Loke Thye Kee Residences are set within former shophouses – early 20th century traditional buildings realised in an eclectic colonial style. A vernacular manifestation of opulence, shophouses represented the source of inspiration for MOD, who aimed to recreate the same charm for the prospective hospitality project.
Complementing the Loke Thye Kee restaurant, five suites are set along courtyard paths, each with an entry garden and private balcony. In addition to the rich ornamentation, colourful embellishments and stucco decorations from the original structure, technology has a relevant role in modernising guests' experiences. Sophisticated furniture, hidden LED lighting and an elegant palette of materials – like transparent glass enclosed bathrooms, characteristic timber floors and brick walls – add comfort and freshness to the fully equipped living areas.
Contrast is maintained and highlighted with the unavoidable connection between the hosting site, demonstrating how historical heritage can coexist with modern luxury.