The Chow Kit
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Building Design, Interior Design, Branding & Identity
Renovation: 120 Room Hotel, Restaurant, Library, Lobby
Architect: Tropical Area
Collaborators: Shan Shan Lim, Bendang Artisan, The Alphabet Press, Mey Kamal, Jeanie Botanicals, Liza Ho
Designer: Studio Tack
Motivated by historical places of egalitarian assembly within Kuala Lumpur and Chow Kit, our gaze was focused on places where food and urbanism intersect. We imagined programming on the ground floor working hard to engage with locals and guests. We dug deep into the architectural archives of Chow Kit and Kuala Lumpur to better understand how materials like wood, tin, brick and tile were employed for both cultural and functional reasons.
On a gradient from faithful to heedless, our approach was somewhere in the middle: reverent but relevant. We surveyed the past when grand hotels like the Hotel Majestic and the Bok House welcomed foreign visitors to fanfare, opulence, and pleasure. We sought a revival, but in an inclusive and approachable way. We looked to shophouses to tell us how to “talk” to the city and how to be open to our neighbors. We peered into the noir-ish past of Chow Kit for lessons on how to be human, imperfect, and seductive.