A warehouse with a 122-year history finds new life as a boutique hotel.

The heritage building that is now The Warehouse Hotel has a dark and illicit history going back more than a century. It was built as a godown on the bank of the Singapore River in 1895, at the height of the spice trade, and rumour has it that along with spices, opium was sold in many warehouses just like this one. Later on, many of these locations were used as illegal distilleries and became a hotbed for secret societies. Then in the mid ‘80s to the ‘90s, the building became a discotheque and a gathering ground for some very wild parties.


When arriving, the lobby is spacious and comfortable, but also cosy and intimate thanks to a warm, earthy and muted colour and material palette. The beautiful bones of the building have been retained and a custom pulley light installation alluding to the ‘old days’ hangs down from the pitched ceiling. The Warehouse Hotel balances all these rich historical touches with a clean and contemporary design language and the end result is a quiet and sophisticated space with an industrial edge.


The original bones of the building were kept, including columns and trusses, though new structural supports were also added. With its signature triple-pitched roof and original masonry walls, the rooms were designed to complement the building’s existing layout, making each one different. “That is the unique part of this project,” says Lee, founder and Creative Director of Asylum, responsible for the design of the space,  “There are 37 rooms and we had to design 34 different room formats.”
Other design considerations were to bring natural light into the rooms, and to ensure that they were all of a good size.




One of the hotel’s main goals is to serve as a “portal for local culture”. To that end, the hotel has collaborated with local partners where possible. These include, among others, Matter Prints (bed throws), Mud Rock (in-room coffee and tea mugs), and local designer Gabriel Tan and Edwin Low of Supermama (‘Objects of Vice’ retail installation of old objects at the front desk).


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