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Starck Raving Cool

(September 2016) posted on Wed Sep 21, 2016

The famed French designer puts his indelible stamp on the inaugural M Social hotel.

By Matthew Hall

click an image below to view slideshow

Like virtually every other hotelier in the world, Millennium Hotels and Resorts has created a new brand designed to attract the “millennial-mindset” guest. So, to stand out from the crowd, Millennium made two strategic choices for its new M Social brand: locate its inaugural flagship within a high-profile sector of Singapore, and hire iconoclastic designer Philippe Starck to create its interiors.

Millennium representatives say they chose Singapore for M Social's debut in part because that bustling city-state is home to the hotelier’s parent company, City Development Ltd. Indeed, the breadth of the Millennium line is well represented in Singapore, where it operates six properties: the Copthorne Kings Hotel; the Grand Copthorne Waterfront; the Orchard Hotel Singapore; an M Hotel; a Studio M Hotel; and now, the M Social (the latter, a member of Millennium's Leng's Collection soft brand, is located in the city’s trendy Robertson Quay neighborhood).

Beast & Butterflies restaurant at M Social, Singapore

Starck stuffed the visual menu for the hotel’s Beast & Butterflies restaurant with a variety of goodies, including lava lamps, tablet-sized screens displaying artwork, black pillars bearing the imprint of a Spanish artist and a series of recessed chandeliers. Photo: Courtesy of Millennium Hotels and Resorts

As for bringing Starck on board, Millennium executives say that was a no-brainer. “Our target audience for M Social is the millennial-mindset guest who seeks out interesting design, artistic touches and authenticity,” a spokesperson for the hotelier told Boutique Design. “They tend to reject cookie-cutter hotels and enjoy showing friends something that’s interesting and different. As Philippe’s designs embody both those characteristics, he was the natural choice.”

Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck. Photo: Courtesy of Philippe Starck

For his part, Starck says he conceptualized the project as an “avant-garde laboratory.” Never one for understatement, he explains: “M Social is the new and vibrant place in Singapore where elegance, creativity and technology meet to offer a unique experience to our global-smart tribe.”

To help bring those cool kids (and wannabes) in the door, Starck says that, throughout the property, he interwove “the density and strength of raw concrete with a concept of immateriality that’s represented by the installation of numerous multimedia projections and video screens.”


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