Designed and branded as a lifestyle oriented 'residence', Macalister Mansion consisting of 5 F&B entities and 8 hotel rooms, has been conceived with a single holistic vision by Ministry of Design based in Singapore. Housed in a 100-year-old historic mansion in Penang, Macalister Mansion is conceptualized as a quirky and sophisticated lifestyle destination where guests are treated to a series of experiences similar to an actual home’s hospitality. Each entity is enjoyed as part of the overall experience but branded as distinct rooms typically found in a mansion - Dining room, Den, Bagan Bar, Living room, Lawn and Eight rooms. The name “Macalister Mansion” honours Penang's British Governor Colonel Norman Macalister and there are numerous references to this historic figure captured in specially- commissioned installation-art pieces throughout the grounds. Set against the backdrop of a conserved mansion, the heritage spaces have been carefully adapted and key features infused with contemporary design, striking a good balance between the nostalgia of the past and a vision of relevance for the future. Major infrastructural work was required to restore a colonial mansion, e.g. retaining and reinforcing original columns, staircases, archways; removing plaster to reveal original brick walls and wall cornices; repairing and soundproofing original windows for contemporary hospitality use. As an extension of the grounds, Colin and his team also designed an event lawn where large-scaled parties can be hosted. Beside the lawn is a mosaic lap pool with a feature sunken ‘swim-up’ pool bar at one end. Guests of the hotel also enjoy additional gym and computer lounge & library. Ministry of Design also designed the logos, collateral and menus for all F&Bs and rooms, art-directed the uniforms, and collaborated with the client to curate the artwork. Macalister Mansion has been listed on Conde Nast’s and Travel & Leisure’s “Best New Hotels 2013” lists.
Ministry of Design was created by Colin Seah to Question, Disturb & Redefine the spaces, forms & experiences that surround us and give meaning to our world. An integrated spatial-design practice, MODâ€™s explorations are created amidst a democratic â€˜studio-likeâ€™ atmosphere and progress seamlessly between form, site, object and space. We love to question where the inherent potential in contemporary design lies, and then to disturb the ways they are created or perceived â€“ redefining the world around us in relevant and innovative ways, project by project. This, we declare, is real change, not change for the sake of novelty. Fortified with these aspirations, we begin each distinct project anew by seeking to do 2 things â€“ to draw deeply from the context surrounding each project, but also to dream freely so that we might transcend mere reality and convention. Each MOD project endeavours to be delightfully surprising but yet relevant, distinctly local but still globally appealing. Earlier works include the Barcode Office (Best Office in WAF Barcelona 2011), BBH Office (Presidentâ€™s Design Award 2008), Zig Zag House, Sho-U Restaurant (Gold Key Award Grand Prize 2007), Leo Burnett Office (Interior Design of the Year 2010, USA), SOHO China Sanlitun condominium, The Mark Business Park, New Majestic Hotel (Presidentâ€™s Design Award 2006) & The Saporiti Italia Luxury Tower (Grand Prize & exhibited at Salone de Mobile Milan 2010). We are currently working on two large scale resorts for 5-star brands, in Thailand and Vietnam, for Starwood and Movenpick respectively.