"I don't care about aesthetics. I don't care about design. I don't care about trends," says Philippe Starck, the celebrated French designer renowned for elevating everyday objects from mere functional bodies to whimiscal works of art. His self-deprecating sense of humour belies the vast body of work he has produced, much less the very space we're standing in — M Social Singapore, the second hotel in Singapore (the first being The South Beach) to bear his design footprint.
As M Social Singapore opens its doors to guests today, those checking into this decidedly modern property occupying an enviable position along the Singapore River will experience a little taste of what it is like to inhabit the world of Starck. "There is no decoration, no wallpaper, no painting. Everything is real. There is real wood, real concrete, real stone, real steel," shares Starck, the irrepressible tour de force who describes his latest creation as a "cabana on the river".
Not to be confused with Studio M Hotel in the neighbourhood, M Social Singapore boasts 293 rooms spread over 10 floors. With entry category rooms (The Nice Room and The Nicer Room) starting at 19 square metres, it's interesting to witness how Starck has managed to navigate these small (or cosy, if you will) spaces. "Small volume can be incredibly sexy — even more sexy than a big room where the energy is diluted," he says. In the 'Big Room', a duplex loft-syle approach opens up the space while the 'Nicer Room' takes advantage of inverted V-shaped ceilings and a terrace to let in plenty of light. Pashmina throws and designer lamps accent this luxe cocoon, giving you a snug spot to rest your head.
M Social Singapore. 90 Robertson Quay.