Sao Mai development was situated in the town of Long Xuyen that is about 200km from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The project was a called for a mixed development consisting of a retail development, with basement parking, a podium with swimming pool and two tower blocks – one a hotel development and the other a office block development.

The strategic site meant the project would be the flagship development of the town, with majestic views to the city across the river.

The proposal was awarded First Prize in the nation-wide competition.


Our design encapsulates the essence of a destination of choice. Designed to take advantage of the site as a water fronting location, the office and hotel towers have clear visibility to the river. The retail component brings the buzz and vibrancy to the ground and makes this an exciting location for both work and play.


Accessibility to the site is via the main Tran Hung Dao road. The ingress roads designed with separate and distinct drop off for the hotel and office. Direct drop off for retail shoppers is at the center of the shopping complex.

The lobbies for hotel and office are separate with access to the building above as well as car park in the 2 basements provided. Drivers can enter the basement directly upon drop-off via the ingress and egress roads located on the periphery of the site.


The retail levels span from 1st to 5th, with 2 basements for car parking. A central void opens up the retail mall upon arrival from the drop off at the center of the building, allowing shoppers a clear visual connection to all floors above. F & B outlets as part of the retail offering are located at the side facing the river allows maximum frontage to the river and acts as the preferred stage for lively outdoor activity.


The hotel tower is a 20 level iconic building. The distinctive facade treatment accentuates and distinguishes the hotel building from the office block. The interiors are designed to be inviting for the modern traveler – comfortable furnishings with a touch of class and style. An extension of the interior space towards the outdoors is achieved with balconies that face the soothing eastern sun and afford all rooms the magnificent river views.  

The office building at 15 stories has the main facade facing the southern and eastern orientation. A distinctive modern curtain glazing clad the office building on the main facades, and allows for maximum visibility to the river; making it an attractive destination for tenants.

At the podium level where the hotel and office buildings congregate, the facilities are distinct yet complimentary. An infinity edge pool allows hotel guests to enjoy relaxing times while taking in the views to the river. An outdoor landscape deck allows activity to spill outdoors, with a cafe catering for office workers and hotel guests alike. Within the hotel, a gym and spa facility compliments the outdoor activity. Functions rooms are provided for the business and private usage. In the office, there are further provisions of meeting rooms for conferences and business use.



Located in the bustling Bugis district, Populous Hotel is a new concept hotel for the travel-savvy urbanite. Our scope for the project included the architecture, the interior design, spatial planning and the branding of the hotel. Conceived as a boutique hotel of amenity, it consists of 80 rooms with a restaurant for breakfast and a lush garden roof top terrace.

The project brief was to design a hotel of distinction along a busy street that was already dotted with similar hospitality establishments. As a party-wall development, the hotel was located along a row of buildings that were similar in height. With a only a single distinguishable façade facing Middle Road, the challenge was to create a building that could maximize its context and be distinct in appearance.


Our strategy was to redefine the continuity of the streetscape with a dynamic façade comprising of a continuous curtain of fixed and sliding aluminum screens. The screens are adjustable internally from the hotel rooms. These screens served to give varying degrees of privacy and openness to the rooms.

The front façade facing Middle Road is articulated with a duplicity of screens that is dynamic in nature. Alternating between fixed and movable screens, they serve to give varying degrees of privacy to the rooms.

The rooms allow penetration of natural light by way of large sliding doors at the front and back. Internal rooms were enlivened by portraits of nature that were intentionally framed to resemble picture windows.

At the roof, an open terrace allows the guests a panoramic view of the city. Outdoor timber pavilions are provided amidst lush greenery and full-grown trees.  A bold 3-meter-high green wall separates the public space from services area at the rear.   

Façade lighting illuminates the essence of the building as the sun sets. Landscape lighting further enhances the experience at the open terrace. The hotel stands as an exciting and iconic addition to the continuous row of buildings along Middle road.

2019-2020: Asia Pacific Property Awards, Best Hotel Architecture Singapore