Merchant’s Lane

Typology : Restaurant + Cafe

Completed : October 2015

Set in an almost 100-year old shophouse in Chinatown, the former brothel left behind rich and textured narratives from the past. The persona for the new restaurant cum cafe was built upon the existing characteristics of the space, enriched with modern, neo-oriental nuances ala Wong Kar Wai. Its typical Malaysian shophouse typology is narrow in entry(7m) but long in depth (30m).

Divided into three portions lengthwise; the foyer for the dining section, the courtyard for outdoor dining and a back lounge for more exclusivity. A slit on the roof casts dramatic daylight, revealing layers of paint and textures on its party walls. Pairing unassuming materials like used paper tubes as lights against bespoke stainless steel tables, to repurposing floor boards and old steps as furniture, the space celebrates heritage and a rejuvenation to the otherwise dilapidated part of Chinatown.