Construction of this hotel, originally designed in 1990, came to a halt in the grip of the Asian Financial Crisis. In 2007, ten years post-crisis, G Hotel Gurney finally opened its doors reconceptualised as Penang’s very first ‘design hotel’.
The hotel lobby was conceived as a living room, and the mood is suitably cosmopolitan; an assortment of design icons are gathered here into islands of seating—all on a subtly raised stage where one can see or indeed be seen. The lobby’s walls, one dark and the other blonde, stand opposed in asymmetry.
Between them the front desk stretches into what became the longest bar in Penang—a playful rejection of the traditional reception. An upper level restaurant juts into the high reaches of the double-volume space, floating as a light box. One might say these spatial aberrations stem from a decidedly modern attitude.