Creating Icons, Following Dreams
Andy Miller and Richard Scott-Wilson of Consulting-firm Hamiltons International tasked with the master-planning of Asia’s newest landmark development.
Hamiltons International story was born – as many great ideas are – in a pub. The innovative and award-winning design consultancy’s founders and principals, Andy Miller and Richard Scott Wilson, were among the brightest stars of Sir Norman Foster’s galaxy of talent at Fosters + Partners, and had played leading roles in the creation of some of the most iconic architecture of modern times.
Today, the two men are at the vanguard of their profession, tasked with the master planning and conceptual design of a project which will change the face of a great river and a great city forever. The project, of course, is Chao Phraya Estate, comprising the 73-storey Four Seasons Private Residences Bangkok at Chao Phraya River, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River and Capella Bangkok.
Both acknowledge a big debt of gratitude to Sir Norman for their opportunities, experiences and careers. But on that fateful afternoon, as they sipped their drinks and the conversation went on, the two men also realized they shared a growing sense of disappointment that the firm had lost the vibrant studio atmosphere that had made it a legendary hotbed of creativity and innovation in its rush to global growth. Both yearned for more control over their own design destinies. Wanting to be able to seize the opportunities they saw living and working in Asia and to have control over every single detail of a project.
On leaving Foster + Partners, Miller established Hamiltons International together with Tim Hamilton and Hamiltons Architects in London; Miller as CEO and International Director, Scott Wilson as Director.
Leaving to set up a new firm was not an easy decision for either man. Miller, who studied architecture at Gloucester College of Art and Design before joining Yorke Rosenberg Mardall in Hong Kong in 1981, had been with foster since 1983 when he was appointed to work on the HSBC project.
He moved to the London office in 1987 and began work on Century Tower in Tokyo, leading to his relocation in 1988 to ordination of the tower from commencement to completion. During this time, he became resident director of Foster Japan in 1992 and director of Foster Asia in 1993. Among his projects were the master plan for Yokohama Stadium, Obunsha headquarters in Japan and the award-winning Jiu Shi Corporation headquarters tower in Shanghai.
Miller returned to London in1996 after projects in Korea Malaysia and Thailand to become a board director of the practice and take charge of the design development of the 95-storey London Millennium Tower project. He worked on the 80-index building in DIFC, Dubai, and in Asia his projects included Parkview Tower in Singapore, Petronas University of Technology in Malaysia, Repulse Bay Residences in Hong Kong, the Troika residential tower in Kuala Lumpur for Bandara ad Kamakura house and museum project in Japan.
In 2001, Andy established the Singapore office in order to deliver out the Supreme Court of Singapore, Pontiac Resort Development on Sentosa Island and private residences. He was made a senior partner and group leader of 70 technical staff in 2004.
Scott Wilson is an architecture graduate of University of Nottingham and the Bartlett School of Architecture, London. Between courses he worked for a year and a half as Assistant Architect with Foster + Partners in Hong Kong and London, where he worked on the design of the new International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong, as well as preliminary design and production drawings for commercial office buildings in the City of London. He also worked in the office of Norihiko Dan in Tokyo and for a year as Assistant Architect with Lifschutz Davidson Ltd in London on the design and site administration of Oxo Tower Wharf, London and J. Sainsbury’s Watford, both of which received RIBA national awards.
He returned to Foster + Partners in 1997 to work on a new terminal for London’s Luton airport, then from 1998 to 2000 he worked on master plan, design development and early construction phases of the new campus of the Petronas University of Technology in Malaysia, In 2001, he was tasked with leading the London side of the design team for the New Supreme Court of Singapore; including the first use of laminated stone-glass technology in a public building world-wide.
Scott Wilson moved to Singapore to oversee the site operations, coordination and contract administration for the building which was completed in January 2006. Other projects in Singapore included a resort development on Sentosa Island and a private house. On his return to London, Richard worked on the successful competition entry and scheme design for the Central Market, a 500,000 m2 mixed-use development in Abu Dhabi, and the competition entry for the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. Richard was made an Associate with Foster and Partners in 2002 and an Associate Partner in 2005.
Together, Miller and Scott Wilson are leading the master planning and conceptual design of all three key structures that comprise the Chao Phraya Estate project. They were sought out personally by Country Group Development CEO Ben Taechaubol, who believed they were the designers who would best grasp his vision of a more meaningful, understated and enduring luxury.
CGD participated in an annual green activity to fight plastic waste and clean up the area around Chao Phraya River.
*As Featured on Seashells on the Palm by Edwina Viel.
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