121-year-old opium den turns into Singaporean hotel

The Warehouse Hotel, which has just opened on the Singapore River, is the renovation of a 121-year-old building that was used as an opium den in the 1800s and as a disco club in the 1980s.

Three warehouses have been combined and outfitted to create a 37-room boutique hotel. The design, by local firm Zarch Collaborative with interiors by Asylum Creatives, has created a "distinctive symmetrical façade and jacked roofs, while retaining and restoring original design elements like louvre windows, doors, cornices, mouldings and the Chinese characters on the leftmost gable".

Many original features have been modified with "restrained touches, including a metallic black canopy on the main entrance".

A double-volume space supported by the original warehouse trusses greets visitors at the lobby, and a clear access and view to the Singapore River is retained.

An extension complements the strong silhouette of the main wing, housing an elevated infinity pool that "hover" just above the river.

The development "aims to provide guests with an account of Singapore’s developing days where economic and underground activities flourished as a trading port".

Images via Zarch Collaborative

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  1. I recall the opium wars the British waged against China in the 1840’s and 1860’s. Opium from Afghanistan and other western asian/mid east countries that (after destroying the potential for resistance to a British military invasion) culminated in the necessary need to establish a bank to ship the ‘loot’ back to England. That result was the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank. Was it that Singapore must have been a ‘way station’ to test the product being shipped east to insure that the potency was lethal enough to continue the routing – a sound financial basis for Singapore’s’ development?

    In my opinion, bringing that historical activity above ground, guests will enjoy the modernization including the “new” HSBC world wide moniker for a never ending (?) “developmental process” that is the financial roots of British projects that allegedly help determine the world today. Is this our future?

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