Apr 20, 2022
COVER The retractable roof allows in natural light throughout the day
The Rabbit Hole is a chic sanctuary amongst lush greenery in the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur
The Rabbit Hole, a restaurant cum bar in Changkat Bukit Bintang, has been a hot spot on social media lately. It’s not hard to see why. With its roughly plastered walls and sculptural staircase in a Morandi-esque palette set against a serene aquamarine pool, one is transported to the stylish beach clubs of Santorini.
PHOTO 1 OF 2 Greenery was placed in the planters to supplement the mature trees on site
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Located in a '70s Art Deco villa that was once a French restaurant and club, The Rabbit Hole’s latest incarnation was designed by Shin Tseng, founder of ST/Arch, Urban Agenda Design and co-founder of RexKL.
ABOVE Furniture was commissioned from local craftsmen
Almost two years in gestation, it really began when Tseng and The Rabbit Hole owner Kent Chua made a research trip to Bali in 2019 and were inspired by how outdoor spaces like swimming pools and skateparks were being used as leisure and community spaces while being incorporated into F&B concepts.
“When the pandemic hit and borders shut, we made the decision to hibernate the business but after nine months we realised that we either had to close down for good or double down and give the property a new lease of life,” recalls Chua. They chose the latter.
PHOTO 1 OF 3 Plenty of greenery is evocative of dining in a garden
PHOTO 2 OF 3 The pool is an inviting focal point
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Inspired by the Bali trip, Chua visualised an oasis in chaotic Changkat Bukit Bintang, a pool villa where you could dine all day with a coffee kiosk and cocktails on tap. After the building was stripped of its former trappings, elements that recalled '80s beach bungalows were added such as textured paint for the surfaces and a pool with handmade blue mosaic.
PHOTO 1 OF 2 Sunken seating reinforces the retro vibe
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To further accentuate the tropical beach vibe, materials were kept natural and muted. Efforts were made to preserve all the trees on the site to help keep the space cool, especially since it was semi-outdoor.
“We wanted to have an open and outdoor feel so most areas are naturally ventilated and interior space can be opened up to combine with the alfresco area in the evening. Plants, retractable awning and the swimming pool really help with reducing the power needed to cool down the space,” notes Tseng.
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