The pride in her status as ‘Baba-Nyonya’ is an impression that we, Studio Locomotive, has collected from meeting with ‘Mother’ (the member of the project’s owner family) during the making of ‘Hotel Gahn’ through her dressing in a floral laced blouse, batik sarong, beaded slippers, and fine antique gold jewelry, her home-cooking recipe from the family’s recipe, and her reminiscences of the ways of living in her hometown. The designing for Hotel Gahn becomes a testament to the inheritance of this Baba-Nyonya status and its ethnical traditions passing down from the Mother to her children.
▼酒店外观，exterior view © beersingnoi
The mother’s ancestry traced to her grandfather, called in Chinese as Gong, a young coolie with a cooking talent migrating from China on a junk boat during a prosperous time of tin mining for metal plating and tinware industry. Gong was chosen to be a boat cook called ‘Juumpo’ and later in Takua Pa, a district in Phang Nga, Thailand, employed as a head cook at a tin mine. At that time, Takua Pa was one of the most abundant areas and a free trading port for tin. The tin rush had caused the unique transcultural hybridization through the migration route from China to Malay Peninsula, the tin trading voyage from Europe, and the intermarriage of Chinese miners which led to the burgeoning of the Baba-Nyonya community in Takua Pa.
▼酒店外部特殊的钢制框架，the exterior of the hotel has a special steel frame © beersingnoi
▼酒店入口，entrance area © beersingnoi
▼立面细部，details of the facade © beersingnoi
Our design intention is to offer guests a time and place to naturally absorb the sense of Takua Pa’s Baba-Nyonya lifestyle from their stay and interaction with the owner family. Not by explicitly replicating the look and forms of cultural buildings, the spatial experience touch points at Hotel Gahn suggest in the space programming, choices of materials, material treatments, and the use of traditional construction details. On arrival this five-story hotel is outstanding from the steel gateway, modified from the signature continuous shophouse verandah Ngo-Ka-Ki, to preserve the privacy from road activities and the extensive wood façade, covering pipelines running out of the building to optimize ceiling height, stained in opaque black from engine oil wood treatment.
▼从花园看向酒店内部，view from the garden to the hotel © beersingnoi
▼从水池看向一楼接待区域，view from the pool to the reception area on the ground floor © beersingnoi
The hotel reception, coffee bar, and restaurant share the common floor furnished with eclectic forms of Asian-inspired timber tables and seats decorated with batik cloth cushion covers. The central square table with several antique-styled stools and bench, similar to the multi-purpose tables used in the expanded Chinese family, offers a casual communal setting. Mother’s vintage collectibles displayed in lit-up full-height cabinets warmly narrates household stories. Tall cabinets along the restaurant walls exhibit traditional eatery and cooking equipment complementing gastronomic sensation escaping from the adjoining main kitchen. Ochre red and green color paints, noticeable on local architectural ornamental features, are applied on selected walls, pillar, and accented ceiling frames which are also the pipe and wire tracks in disguise.
▼一楼空间概览，first floor overview © beersingnoi
▼吧台休闲区域，bar lounge area © beersingnoi
▼从休闲区域看向厨房和楼梯间，view the kitchen and stairwell from the leisure area © beersingnoi
▼与花园连通的室内空间，the interior space connected to a garden © beersingnoi
▼空间中有大量木质元素，there are a lot of wooden elements in the space © beersingnoi
▼通往客房楼层的曲折硬木楼梯，a winding hardwood staircase leads to the guest room floor © beersingnoi
▼楼梯细部，details of the stair © beersingnoi
The dog-legged hardwood staircase leading to guestroom floors demonstrates local undemanding details with the top of newel post cut in a hexagonal shape and simple rectangle bars for railing and balusters. ‘Fa Lai’, a unique type of window opening, is a pairing of wall gaps and a sliding batten panel considered as a part of the façade when closed. Each guestroom features the use of traditional materials, local construction technicality, and daily household objects: terrazzo floor with brass strips, wooden wall with beading, vertical iron grille on closet door, bathroom door with wooden latch and doorknob, Chinese canopy bed, and hand-painted ceramic wash basin.
▼客房内部，inside the guest room © beersingnoi
▼“Fa Lai”式窗口，”Fa Lai” window © beersingnoi
▼复古中式洗手台，ancient Chinese washbasin © beersingnoi
▼浴室，bathroom © beersingnoi