The Great Room opens at the iconic Raffles Hotel, eyes opportunistic expansion

By
/ EdgeProp Singapore
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August 2, 2019 7:00 AM SGT
Having closed since December 2017 for refurbishment, Raffles Hotel reopened on Aug 1 with The Great Room taking up 15,000 sq ft at the hotel’s arcade (Credit: Raffles Hotel Singapore)
Over the years, the iconic Raffles Hotel on Beach Road has hosted notable guests such as Queen Elizabeth II, Michael Jackson, Karl Lagerfeld, Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling. Having closed since December 2017 for refurbishment, the property reopened on Aug 1 with co-working operator, The Great Room, taking up 15,000 sq ft in one wing of Raffles Arcade at Raffles Hotel.
This is The Great Room’s fourth location in Singapore and is the first co-working space in a six-star hotel. From a design perspective, Jaelle Ang, CEO and co-founder of The Great Room, wanted to conceive a space that reflected the hotel’s legacy as well as incorporated the needs of its co-working members.
“Imagine if the walls could speak. You’ve had all these famous guests that have lived here before,” says Ang. “You think you start with a blank slate [for this new space] but you don’t, because you are in the company of these guests and the stories [of the hotel] are greater than yourself; and we wanted to work with that narrative.”

Data-driven design

The Great Room’s pièce de résistance is its grand glass atrium or Drawing Room where its members can socialise, drink and dine. Apart from its signature shell chair, the space incorporates custom-made cane and wicker furniture that is emblematic of Raffles Hotel.
The Great Room’s pièce de résistance is its grand glass atrium or Drawing Room where its members can socialise, drink and dine (Credit: The Great Room)
With sustainability in mind, the floor is paved with small pieces of stone, marble and granite. “We used smaller pieces because these are usually discarded and we wanted to be sustainable. The smaller pieces also help us to create an interesting [floor] design,” she explains.
Apart from the Drawing Room, The Great Room also has a studio where meetings and events can be hosted for up to 40 people. Art pieces by local artist Tay Bak Chiang and portraits by Yian...