Blu Water Studio Blends Contemporary Elements with a Historical Mansion in Penang
Located on a well-known world heritage site in Penang, the Edison George Town takes its place in a former Hokkien tycoon’s Anglo-Chinese mansion built in the early 20th century. This upmarket 35-room boutique hotel combines the colonial past and oriental charm of Penang through a concept of timeless elegance that offers a blend of modern and traditional elements. It pays homage to the city’s monumental architectural features and creates a distinct design identity.
The interior design team retained more than 90 percent of the original layout, only removing walls that were not part of the original building structure. The distinctive spatial planning of the Edison George Town is something rarely seen in modern hotels. It is akin to the old Peranakan—Straits-born Chinese—mansions, where the spaces are connected from a centralised entrance to segregated halls with a courtyard in the middle, while the kitchen is kept behind the building and rooms are arranged symmetrically along the corridors. The open courtyard is a main traditional feature that provides a homely experience for guests to feel comfortable and at ease while they are in a foreign land. In a slight break from tradition, the rooms feature open-plan bathrooms that allow people to navigate without obstruction and induce a sense of luxury.
The team studied every space and came up with small but significant additions. Fine details and rich splashes of colours—such as porcelain blue and rich jade green panels—were used to decorate parts of the walls. Textures—such as velvet chairs, silk rugs and textured walls—also played a role in the design. A reputable lighting consultant helped to create ambience through the selection of mood lighting.
Jade-inspired accents, patterned tilework, bone china-inspired art and warm tones are blended into a light and airy environment to create a distinctive backdrop for the modern day traveller. The guest rooms reflect the colonial past through its monochromatic setting, whilst injecting modernity with contemporary furnishings. This juxtaposition of past and future encapsulates the charm of the Orient within this hotel.
The original article is published in Construction+ Malaysia online