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n One of Gathy’s favourite projects was the St Regis Lhasa in the Himalayas A WINNING CULTURE


Since a young age, Gathy had wanted to explore the world and he figured “being a hotel designer would mean I would travel often”. After his studies in Belgium, he got a job at the University of Liege working in collaboration with architects and was sent to Indonesia on a project. While there, he fell in love with Asia and in 1983 moved to Hong Kong where he set up his own architectural firm – Denniston Architects. By 1989, Denniston had offices in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. But despite loving Hong Kong, Gathy left to enjoy the less expensive lifestyle and increasing number of opportunities in Malaysia, where his office is still based. Today, Denniston employs 155 full-time


architects and designers, made up of 23 different nationalities. According to Gathy, this makes for an interesting debate in the office. He says: “When you have people


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of different nationalities, ages, sexes and religions working together, it becomes a very engaging and exciting workplace.” It is Gathy, however, who’s the public face of the firm and in April 2006, he was inducted into the Platinum Circle of Hospitality Design which honours individuals who have contributed significantly to the world of hotel design. His client list reads like a who’s who in the world of high-


PERSONAL FILE


Favourite colour: Blue Hobbies: Collecting art Preferred material to work with: Timber and stone Most loved spa: Amankora Gangtey, Bhutan Spa design you’re most proud of: One&Only Reethi Rah – because of the interaction


between architecture and landscape; and the Chedi Muscat for its drama What would be your dream project? A cozy mountain resort in the Himalayas; or a top-notch high-rise hotel in Shanghai Best piece of advice: “Know your duty and not what is owed to you” by my late father.


end hospitality development, including Amanresorts, GHM, Park Hyatt, St Regis, Shangri-La, Banyan Tree and One&Only. Gathy regularly collaborates with top names in the industry. In 2010 he worked alongside Philippe Starck to create luxury villas in Phuket for developer Campbell Kane. He also worked with Italian designer Paola Navone on Point Yamu for COMO Hotels & Resorts development.


LEISURE HANDBOOK 2014 83


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