SOM, Veritas evoke Kuala Lumpur's past and future with new W Hotel

Marriott International's W brand has finally arrived in Malaysia with the new W Kuala Lumpur, just steps from the Petronas Towers.

SOM oversaw the project's architecture in collaboration with Veritas Design Group, leveraging "bold" design to evoke the city's lush greenery and history.  

Kuala Lumpur

Situated between two rivers, Kuala Lumpur has a sunny tropical climate, flourishing jungle, soaring buildings and traditional Malaysian architecture–a meeting of old and new, nature and humankind, on every street. Even within the city center, nature is juxtaposed against architecture with towering skyscrapers emerging from the canopy of green. 
“Kuala Lumpur is one of the most modern cities in Asia” said Anthony Ingham, global brand leader of W Hotels Worldwide, noting that the juxtaposition of classic and contemporary made the city a good fit for the W aesthetic. “We are blown away by how the city is moving towards the future while still maintaining its traditional and cultural roots. It’s a precise balancing act that we have brought to the intricate, vibrant design of W Kuala Lumpur to show guests from across the globe all the magic this city has to offer.” 


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Welcome to the Jungle

A distinct design feature at W Kuala Lumpur is the pixel (or dot) that is integrated throughout the hotel and is used to create a bigger picture inspired by a broader multicultural Malaysia made up of many ethnicities. 

Upon arrival, guests see larger-than-life traditional batik motifs, a nod to ancient artwork of the region, blended with sleek metal accents. The city’s abundant plant life is pulled into the space via bamboo-inspired chandeliers set against an ever-changing wall of lights, a representation of the new technology that is enhancing the cityscape. 

At the Welcome area, guests check in among modern nods to the jungle. Streaming LED lights hang from above to evoke waterfalls, spotlights alternate along the floor like a flowing river while the ceiling patterns depict an artistic interpretation of Kuala Lumpur’s topography, and chandeliers show off the shapes of spinning Malay toys.
Extending from the Living Room, the hotel’s grand staircase plays with light and space in a towering geometric cascade of steel-mirrored panels. Reflecting the colors and native designs found throughout the room and floors above, the staircase shifts each guests’ view of both color and spacial dynamics as they move through the "extroverted" mirroring.
W Kuala Lumpur has 150 guestrooms and suites, including two WOW suites and one Extreme WOW Suite (the brand’s take on the traditional presidential suite). All W Kuala Lumpur rooms and suites incorporate traditional accents like indigenous “Wau” tassels commonly featured on Malaysian kites and pixelated versions of batik designs. 
The hotel is owned by Tropicana Corporation Berhad and was developed by the Dijaya Corporation.