Capella Singapore Commissions the World's Best Designers, Artists and Wellness Experts for March 2009 Opening
Press Release 10.21.08
- From Stockholm to San Francisco and Jakarta to Japan, Capella Singapore Proves a Global Collaboration.
SINGAPORE (October 21, 2008) – Singapore’s tranquil Sentosa Island has become a point of convergence for some of the world’s most admired designers and respected hospitality experts. Capella Singapore, a hotel opening March 2009, will offer the best in class for the most discerning travellers, integrating the know-how of the world’s leading experts. The result will be a truly global collaboration, featuring the works of London architects, Japanese interior designers, San Francisco artists and wellness specialists from Stockholm, to name a few. Ultimately, Capella Singapore will raise the bar of excellence, offering a rare, world-class experience.
Based in London, Pritzker Architect Prize Laureate Lord Norman Foster, cofounder of the famed architecture firm Foster + Partners, led the masterful restoration of Tanah Merah, two colonial buildings from the 1880s, which form the centrepiece for Capella Singapore. Pairing the old with the new, Foster + Partners has also designed the hotel’s 111 guestrooms around Tanah Merah – what will be the largest hotel accommodations in Singapore – blending traditional Asian design with contemporary Western influences. It is this same thoughtful design philosophy that has inspired the seamless integration of architectural elements with Sentosa Island’s natural topography, allowing new structures to follow the contours of the terrain to ensure a balance with nature. Lord Foster commented, “Capella Singapore is seamlessly integrated with the beauty of its natural setting and the three remarkable historic buildings on the site. Our design fuses the contemporary with the historic, and the built elements with the tropical forest.” In addition to Capella Singapore, Foster + Partners’ portfolio includes the world’s largest airport terminal in Beijing, Hearst Headquarters in New York City and the German Parliament in the Reichstag, Berlin.
Leading interior design for Capella Singapore is Jaya Ibrahim. Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, Ibrahim is considered among the world’s foremost interior designers. Utilizing a neutral color palate for Capella Singapore’s elegant interiors, Ibrahim brings his great vision and experience to Sentosa Island’s latest masterpiece, bringing the local Singaporean culture to life. Guests will find a setting that is both stylish and sophisticated – an oasis that speaks to the region and its unique sense of place. Ibrahim noted, “Capella Singapore is set in the ultimate tropical locale, enhanced by architecture that plays upon the design theme of contrasting the past and the present in a surprising manner. The interior design has been crafted as a backdrop for visitors to sit, to move, to lie down with ease and with the constant awareness of this tropical setting, highlighting the contrast of old and new.” His latest project is the Aman at Summer Palace, Beijing. Past works include The Nam Hai in Vietnam, The Dharmawangsa in Jakarta, The Setai, Miami Beach, The Chedi Milan in Italy, The Legian and The Four Seasons Jimbaran Estates in Bali.
Hong Kong-based Andre Fu, co-founder of the famed architecture firm AFSO, leads the interior design for Cassia, Capella Singapore’s Chinese fine-dining restaurant. Named for the Asian spice of the cinnamon family, Cassia has been designed to create an ambience both welcoming and seductive, to complement the restaurant’s reinterpretation of traditional Chinese cuisine within the context of its colonial-era Tanah Merah setting. A colour palette of lilac, mineral grey, dark Chinese lacquer and bronze are weaved throughout the restaurant, and noteworthy decorative elements include butterfly-inspired lamps made of engraved bronze that create an ethereal sense of place. An open staircase features a large-scale installation commissioned by Japanese artist, Tomoko Sawada, and leads to an alluring water feature and long architectural wall where guests can meander before entering the dining room. For a more intimate experience, two semi-private and one private dining room have also been created, seating six and 12, respectively. Here guests will find fabric-laminated glass dividers that create an alluring silhouette, with walls featuring bespoke silver-foiled wallpaper and hand-painted magnolia flowers. For an al fresco setting, diners on the outdoor colonnade gallery enjoy views of Capella Singapore’s cascading lawns. Fu noted, “Capella Singapore seamlessly marries a rich colonial heritage with sophisticated contemporary design; this has greatly inspired us in our re-interpretation of the authentic Chinese fine dining experience in a deeply rooted, yet distinctly sensuous and lush setting." Past projects have included Hong Kong’s Azure Restaurant & Lounge and Shanghai’s Zenterstage.
Yasuhiro Koichi, co-founder of Tokyo-based Design Studio SPIN, has been charged with interior design for The Knolls, Capella Singapore’s all-day dining restaurant and bar lounge. Inspired by the fusion of Capella Singapore’s classic and modern design, Koichi has planned The Knolls in an Asian-colonial style, integrating antique and contemporary elements to create an intimate oasis. Cosy, inviting seating areas will offer guests a sense of comfort and privacy. And thoughtful use of lighting will transition The Knolls’ setting from day to night, presenting an evolving sense of space. Koichi commented, "Capella Singapore is a study in contrasts, including its setting in the seclusion of lush rainforest, even as it is located in such proximity to the central business district. At The Knolls, we have extended this theme, offering intimate and inviting private spaces within the restaurant itself." In addition to Capella Singapore, Design Studio SPIN was behind the restaurant at the Nam Hai in Hoi An, Vietnam as well as Nobu in Tokyo.
Allen Kerton, president, managing director of Belt Collins International in Singapore is at the forefront of Capella Singapore’s landscape design. His vision offers a dramatic juxtaposition to the hotel’s clean-lined, contemporary architecture. At the hotel’s main entrance, lush forest greenery and arching groves of bamboo will greet guests. Within the main hotel courtyard, a combination of plants inspired by the rice terrace landscapes of Southeast Asia will prevail. And Capella Singapore’s landscaping will honour its Sentosa Island location and history; great attention was committed to preserve the five heritage trees native to the property, and plants including Beetle Nut and Livistona Palms have been used to complement the regions historic colonial architecture. Greenery will also serve as an extension of the hotel’s villas, with exotic rainforest plants offering privacy between accommodations. Additional plantings include frangipani trees, birds nest ferns and indigenous orchids. In total, Capella Singapore will feature 60 different tree species, and the hotel grounds will include over 5,000 trees, 2,000 palms, 700 bamboo, 40,000 ferns, 125,000 shrubs, and nearly 250,000 ground covers.
Health and Wellness:
Developed by Swedish-based spa company, Raison d’Etre, the Auriga Spa and Wellness Centre’s design concept and signature treatments utilize the varying energies of the lunar cycle to relax, restore and realign the mind, body and spirit. Capella Singapore offers guests four signature Auriga services, each inspired by the moon’s phases, and complemented by traditional Asian therapies. Destination inspired spa experiences will also be a focus of the Auriga menu, incorporating regional products, fruits and herbs to offer guests of Capella Singapore a true sense of place. Services are enjoyed within the 8,000 square foot oasis, featuring nine experience rooms, including three suites with shower and bath, separate steam shower and dressing area. Each experience room features an enticing indoor/outdoor design, with private outdoor garden for lounging alongside a tranquil lily pond. Capella Singapore’s unique oasis was inspired by Raison d’Etre, and its portfolio includes Anassa in Paphos, Cyprus and Four Seasons, Doha, Qatar.
New York City’s Elizabeth Weiner serves as art consultant for Capella Singapore. With more than 20 years of experience, Weiner’s keen eye has been imperative in the development of the hotel’s burgeoning collection of significant art pieces. Capella Singapore will feature a series of large-scale indoor and outdoor sculptures complemented by intimate pieces, the works of renowned artists from over 15 countries, with strong representation by local Singaporeans. The collection will cross a wide variety of unique mediums, including custom-designed lacquer wall sculptures and free standing stone elements, complemented by more traditional art forms including silk-screens and lithographs. In addition, a world-class sculpture garden will highlight Capella Singapore’s vast space – the largest of any hotel in Singapore.
On the front lawn of Capella Singapore, a steel installation art piece, having a footprint of 6.9m x 4.5m and a height of 3.15m, by sculptor Bernar Venet will offer a visually inspiring welcome for guests. Famous for his monumental structures – a melding of steel and gravity-defying, spiraling curving arcs – French-born Venet was at the forefront of the conceptual art movement of the 1960s and 1970s. His work has been acquired by such noteworthy establishments as the Museums of Modern Art in New York and Paris and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.
From the visual masterpieces outside to those indoors, one art piece in particular will frame the hotel’s Ballroom, the first in Singapore to feature a circular glass-dome skylight. The magnificent custom-designed sculpture, the vision of San Francisco-based artist Nikolas Weinstein, will float from the dome’s centre. The sculpture’s shape is circular, comprised of approximately 10,000 clear glass tubes, and echoes the round collar of the skylight under which it sits. Designed to play with the room’s natural light source, the sculpture’s transparency during daytime’s backlight offers a stunning complement to the room’s architecture. During the evening, when the piece is illuminated from beneath, the sculpture will reflect and refract light, causing it to shimmer as guests move within the Ballroom.
About Capella Singapore:
Singapore’s premier resort destination, Sentosa Island, will welcome a new jewel in 2009: Capella Singapore. The flagship property for Capella Hotels and Resorts in Asia offers an inspiring natural setting while providing easy access to Singapore’s financial and shopping districts. Capella Singapore promises the ultimate in personalized service and represents a new standard of luxury in Asia, combining the best of old and new Singapore. Capella Singapore will offer the largest accommodations in Singapore. The 111 guestrooms include 61 deluxe guest rooms, 11 suites, 38 garden villas that feature private outdoor showers and bathtubs and a presidential manor. In addition, Capella Singapore will offer the opportunity to live in the hotel for extended stays with full access to the hotel’s facilities. These extended stay offerings will include 72 sea-facing suites and duplexes, 9 manors with private pools and one colonial manor. Additionally, guests can enjoy a range of activities for relaxation or business: Cassia, a fine-dining Chinese restaurant, The Knolls all-day dining restaurant and Bob’s Bar; an Auriga Spa and Fitness Centre; three meeting rooms; a business centre with two boardrooms, a signature Capella Club Lounge, three cascading outdoor pools and a world-class sculpture garden.
About Capella Hotels and Resorts:
Capella Hotels and Resorts serves today’s top-tier travellers and residential property owners and is setting a new standard in the hospitality industry. Capella promises the unique benefits of the finest boutique hotels, including superb architecture and interior design, privacy, individualized service and attention to detail – combined with the amenities and activities of the world’s great luxury hotels and resorts. Capella, led by founder Horst Schulze, is a brand focused on customer choice, and offers choices that no other hotel company in the world can match. Capella is opening world-class properties in gateway cities and high-profile resort destinations around the world, including: Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel (Düsseldorf, Germany); Capella Bahia Maroma (Riviera Maya, Mexico); Capella Dunboy Castle (Castletownbere, Ireland); Capella Ixtapa (Ixtapa, Mexico); Capella Niseko (Niseko, Japan); Capella Pedregal (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico); Capella Singapore (Sentosa Island, Singapore); and Schloss Velden, a Capella Hotel (Velden, Austria). Learn more at www.capellahotels.com