'A hotel in Sarawak seeks to distinguish itself with an architectural approach that is influenced by unique geometrical patterns found in the beaded accessories of Sarawak's local tribes.'
(Architecture Malaysia Vol 25 issue 3 2013)
A façade-oriented design, this 6-storey business hotel was planned efficiently to house 155 guest rooms at a less than optimal site. The ground floor consists of a lobby, cafe, business centre and conference rooms. From the first to fifth floors are the guest rooms. By adopting the hotel’s corporate identity, the architects transformed the hotel’s two-dimensional logo into a threedimensional envelope, through the anatomy of facade components that were placed in layers to create a distinctive look.
The site features a lower platform, behind rows of commercial blocks, and faces a major hightraffic road. The design approach employs a vibrant ‘pattern’ and ‘graphical’ effect with repetitive multi-faceted elements applied to the flat facade, which serves to create an attractive visual impact through the gaps and the alleyways between the commercial blocks. The design and composition of the facade components were developed and inspired by the Dayak tribe’s Manik (beads) artwork, alongside the hotel’s corporate identity. The indigenous people of Sarawak (Borneo) have used beads as part of their dress and artwork for hundreds of years, adding vibrancy and colour to formal occasions. Such craftwork employs the primary motif and secondary motif in contrasting bright colours, set within a dark or black background. All motifs are then repetitively composed to form the complete artwork. This technique was similarly adopted to develop the design of the facade. The exterior continuously extends into the ground floor lobby area, wrapping the ceiling and interior wall like a band that loops outside in. Interior touches such as floor tiles patterns, bench and ceilings in the cafe are derived from the process of composing shattered pieces of shapes into a directional distortion that forms the space. The outcome is a visually unique building that illustrates the culture of Sarawak through its architecture, making 56 Hotel a unique landmark that welcomes the visitors with its ‘cultured’ corporate identity.