A new boutique property is opening next month on Keong Siak Street; keep a look out for KēSa House!
We speak to Florian Sander (aka Flo), founder and managing director of iThink Consulting Group, Asia’s premier boutique hospitality consulting firm, to find out more about his design vision and approach with this unique heritage property.
Tell me how you conceptualised the design for KēSa House.
Designing a row of shophouses is both a great challenge as well as an incredible opportunity. When we first looked at the 10 shophouse stretch on Keong Saik Road, we felt that the previous incarnation did not bring out the true beauty of this amazing property. With a 60-meter-long facade neighbouring famous F&B concepts such as Burnt Ends and Potato Head, we wanted to create a physical and visual presence that could command both impression and inspiration.
After a few days of inspiration, as well as looking around other facades in the vicinity, we felt that an Aquamarine theme would on the one hand inject a fresh look and feel to Keong Saik road, and simultaneously create a facade that feels elegant during the day and stunning at night. A presence that leaves a mark while creating emotional touch points with passersby.
What was the brief for the interior design of the space?
The brief was actually very straight forward: to reposition the existing property into an integrated lifestyle destination with a strong concept F&B cluster on the ground floor, curated to generate high footfall and revive the location. The upper floors were to be positioned as a simple yet well designed accommodation space targeting affordable short-, mid- and long term stays within a social environment, providing shared facilities including a launderette, kitchen, terrace and lounge area. Although the owners had previously wanted us to keep as much as possible of the installations and inventory of the previous property, we were able to start from a clean slate after some negotiation.
We were able to create a design language that transcends from outside-in, without feeling overly designed or repetitive.
Our vision for KēSa House was for the property to become a game changer for the way boutique accommodation concepts are designed and developed in Singapore and Asia.
With 55 Keong Saik Road we wanted to create a financially prudent accommodation in Chinatown that charms with its rooms, buzzes via its diverse F&B offering, and simultaneously provides a decent return to the owners. And, of course, as with anything that we do, it should make a statement.
What is unique about this boutique property in Singapore?
KēSa House is an inviting 60-room, flexible-living concept where guests can stop over or stay awhile. It’s a house full of character where you can mingle with like-minded guests at KēSa Lounge, an area perfect for business or play, grab your sous chef and whip up a quick breakfast in the KēSa Kitchen, or sip a sundowner with new friends on the KēSa Terrace (pictured). It also has the most eclectic and unique roster of restaurants and bars Singapore has to offer under one roof.
What would you like guests to take away from staying at KēSa House?
Our designs differ from other design agencies in a way that our primary goal is that we want our patrons to feel comfortable and have a sense of belonging. Through our designs, we want to build platforms where we enable people to create memories and experiences and connect these positive takeaways with the locale of our designs.
Ultimately, it is the happiness and talking points of our patrons that decide if we have delivered our promise of unique yet approachable designs. So, if guests leave after their stay at KēSa House with a smile on their faces, that is our biggest reward.
Visit KēSa House, 55 Keong Saik Road. Find out more here.