IT’S BEEN 40 years since Jean-Michel Gathy decamped to Asia from his native Belgium, arriving to a new world in 1981. Not that this was anything surprising. Since he was a child, Gathy would be tasked to organise family holidays across Europe, where his talent and inclination for geography and architecture would shine. This instinct to find the magic in new destinations led him to found Denniston – an architecture office that specialises in designing for a specific niche: luxury hotels, residences and the hospitality sector. Gathy would soon form the core of the Three Musketeers who established the DNA of Aman Resorts from its formative days. This year, the first urban Aman Resort in the US opens in New York’s century-old Crown Building and, across it 83 guest rooms and 20 private homes, one finds Gathy’s signature touch of what he refers to as inspiration from his ‘travel experience library’.
What are some of your earliest inspirations?
I have travelled my whole life. My ‘travel experience library’ has been building up unconsciously in my mind every day. There has neither been one particular element that changed my life, nor one experience that has specifically thrilled me. Rather, it’s the thousands of collective experiences that have established my growth as an individual.
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