At over six metres high and weighing more than 4,114 kilograms, a bronze sculpture by Mondrian kindred spirit Kaws, aptly named What Party, is a permanent resident at the entrance to the brand’s first Southeast Asian outpost.
The Kaws sculpture makes it hard to miss. Creating a new landmark in Chinatown, it features the artist’s iconic character Chum and is the centrepiece of the Mondrian Singapore Duxton’s commitment to integrating performance, art, architecture, and design that began with its own construction.
Los Angeles-based Studio Carter and Singapore’s DP Architects partnered to create the inspired hotel with a deconstructed shophouse design that echoes the elements of adjacent shophouses, and to provide the first linkway connecting Duxton Hill with nearby bars and restaurants along Keong Saik, Craig, and Neil Roads.
General manager Robert C Hauck says securing the sculpture was a great coup. “What Party by Kaws is the perfect symbol of what we are all about. We are a home for the mavericks and the dreamers, the people who march to a different drum, and now we have our muse, a world-class art piece that will draw people from near and far.”
Setting the scene
The Kaws piece is part of an exclusive collaboration between Mondrian Singapore Duxton and The Artling, Singapore’s premier art collection curators and tastemakers.
A partnership more than two years in the making, it has seen a permanent collection designed in and around the hotel from the ground up, showcasing the cream of international and local talent and transcending mediums and practices.
Other artists represented in the Mondrian Singapore Duxton Art Collection include American photographer Tyler Shields whose vibrant and playful Water Mouths Monochrome images welcome you, while the reception area is anchored by Brit artist Ian Davenport’s puddle painting, Deep Magenta, Mirrored, and Singaporean Dawn Ng’s Waterfall IV, a hypnotic time-lapse of continually melting pigmented ice block.
I Longed for You, British artist Tracey Emin’s neon work, rules at modern Italian eatery Bottega di Carna by Dario Cecchini, dubbed “The Greatest Butcher in The World”. Inspired by colonial architecture and local history, Robbyn Carter designed it with a greenery-fringed skylight and statuesque floral display. Black calligraphic ribbons suggesting local flora and fauna radiate outwards across the ceiling – a design feature repeated in the hallways.
Another cool addition to The Artling-curated collection: SOFTlab’s Crystallized installation in Christina’s. The multifaceted stunner of geometric forms in clear, iridescent acrylic presides over the artisanal coffee bar that becomes a wine bar at night.
The tropical-inspired Jungle Ballroom cocktail bar hosts Flower Mandala large-scale, psychedelic digital collages of orchids and tropical blooms by Australian artist Emma Anna and jungle-inspired drinks showcasing regional ingredients like lemongrass, ginger, and soursop. You can even find obscure Asian libations like a cobra-infused spirit (we dare you to try).
Up at the Canyon Club, Mondrian’s Sunset Strip origins are evoked by the glitz and glam of 1970s Hollywood with an infinity rooftop pool and grapefruit-pink striped cabana loungers. Here, you can enjoy Fancy Cuba Libres, frozen Banana Coladas, and Snapper Ceviche with Tiger’s Milk served in a young coconut, among other offerings.
An inclusive hotel
The Singapore outpost has 302 keys, so it’s not exactly a boutique hotel like other Mondrian locations, but it retains that intimate, design-forward feel.
Appealing to International Mondrian fans, staycationing couples, and design-files, most guestrooms are compact yet well-thought-out with views and interiors that feel larger, thanks mostly to green-tinted mirrors, hammered metals, and lucite accents.
In a separate wing accessed via a garden house, the Shophouse Suites – named after the distinctive two- to three-storey heritage buildings surrounding the hotel – also showcase Studio Carter’s deconstructed shophouse concept, highlighting timber-framed French windows and intentionally minimal interiors.
There are also four wheelchair-accessible rooms. They offer wider entrances and bedside spaces, switches and sockets at wheelchair-accessible heights, and bathrooms with fitted water closet grab bars, wash basins with knee clearance, and shower seats.
All the bathrooms feature refillable Malin+Goetz for Ciel Spa amenities and a smart glass wall that changes from clear to opaque at the touch of a button. Plush bedroom slippers, a Dyson hairdryer and a sleek Mondrian-branded tiffin container filled with kueh and oatmeal cookies at turndown, also make this hotel a home away from home.
All of this suggests that Mondrian is much more than a hotel. As part of Accor and Ennismore’s brand , this is a way to relax, enjoy life, and travel like no other.
Mondrian Singapore Duxton is located at 6A Duxton Hill, Singapore 089970 and is now available for bookings.