Two local projects bag awards at the Design For Asia Awards

The Enabling Village (above) and The Warehouse Hotel (left).
The Enabling Village (above) and The Warehouse Hotel (left).

The Warehouse Hotel and the Enabling Village each picked up a prize at the Design For Asia Awards

A stylish local boutique hotel converted from a godown and an inclusive "village-style" development in the heartland have won design awards beyond Singapore's shores.

The two Singapore projects - The Warehouse Hotel and the Enabling Village - are no strangers to local gongs, but have also received regional recognition: Each picked up a Grand Award with Special Mention at the Design For Asia (DFA) Awards this year.

A total of 16 Grand Awards were conferred and these were the only two Singaporean projects awarded.

Established in 2003, the DFA Awards are organised by the Hong Kong Design Centre and recognises innovative design projects in Asia.

This year's ceremony was held on Wednesday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Situated in a cluster of buildings in Redhill, the Enabling Village is an inclusive community space that brings together people of different abilities. For example, there are eateries that employ people with disabilities and a wheelchair-friendly supermarket. It was designed by home-grown architecture firm Woha and launched in December 2015.

Before winning the DFA Award, it had received six other local awards, including the 2016 President's Design Award, where it was lauded as a project that demonstrated heartland rejuvenation and encouraged community building.

SG Enable, a government-established agency dedicated to helping people with disabilities, oversees the Enabling Village.

Ms Ku Geok Boon, chief executive of SG Enable, says they are "honoured" to receive the prestigious DFA Award. She hopes the Enabling Village can inspire more people to provide greater community integration for those with disabilities.

The other award-winning project is The Warehouse Hotel, a 37-room property in Havelock Road that opened in January. The hotel is run by The Lo & Behold Group, which is behind restaurants including the two-Michelin-starred Odette at the National Gallery Singapore.

The hotel's bold interiors were done by Asylum, a home-grown award-winning design studio.

In the cavernous hotel lobby, naked light bulbs and pulleys, which are common fixtures in old warehouses, hang from the ceiling.

Besides the DFA prize, the hotel has won other regional design awards, including two at Perspective: A&D Trophy Awards 2017, in the Best of Category (Hotel, Resort or Leisure Destination) and Best of Best (Interior Design) Award.

Created in 2004, the A&D Trophy Awards 2017 celebrate excellence in architecture, interior and product design in the Asia-Pacific. This year's awards ceremony was held last month in Hong Kong.

Asylum's founder Chris Lee says: "This project has been an exhilarating journey for us. What we have today is a result of the close partnership we have with our client. We were equally passionate about restoring the warehouse and making it an icon for the city."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2017, with the headline 'Design awards for local projects'. Print Edition | Subscribe