Gary Fell has a dynamic architectural firm of 38 talented and gifted architects who are kept busy with his many projects around Asia. His design work captures the imagination of builders and developers who admire his strong iconic spaces which expose much of the living areas to the natural elements. He graduated from the University College London and gained international recognition for a design for the Cardiff Opera House that edged out some of the world’s most noted architects. This attention opened the door for him to work as project architect on Bali at the Four Seasons Sayan before he opened his own practice, Gfab in 1999. In the past ten years, the focus of his design practice has been in Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand. He built the Foreign Correspondent’s Club in Siem Reap, the first tropical modern restaurant and bar near Angkor Wat which immediately became the meeting place for high value visitors. This FCC building is representative of Gary’s work with large open spaces which invite the surrounding environment inside.
“The major challenges AquaSamui needed to overcome included creating architectural elements to help shut out views of the town located below and to further highlight the incredible sea views,” says Gary. “The complex typography of the site and the mandate to create ‘affordable’ luxury were also challenges we faced. We reached our goal of being able to offer all the benefits of villa ownership without requiring huge investment in land (site) and building costs, thus allowing the developer to offer an apparently “big” villa at a very reasonable price.“
Gfab’s design work has set a strong visual standard. His homes are often partially “buried” into the site with the use of thick walls for insulation, often flat roofs and large rooms that pour out into Nature. Each design deserves to be studied for the clever orientation and statement about contemporary tropical living.
His projects in Thailand include the Samujana on Koh Samui, 20+ individually designed luxury residences of 800+ sqm each. The 26 rai land plot was subdivided into 24 building sites where houses straddle and emerge from fantastic natural rock outcrops from the top of a hill down to the beach. The success of Samujana has inspired the Napa development nearby. He is currently working on Phuket with Istana, another remarkable villa project at Naithon Bay where each of the twenty homes have distinctive individual designs based on Gary’s interpretation of the building site and natural conditions as the constant movement of sunlight and shifting trade winds.
AQUA is Gary’s newest project at Koh Samui, Thailand, which promises to be the needed getaway that many Bangkok executives need for a break. Koh Samui is already one of Thailand’s most popular getaway destinations just a 1 hour flight south of Bangkok.
Gary continues to work around Southeast Asia. A condo project in Phnom Penh, the Sheraton in Siam Reap, villas and boutique hotel in the sand dunes of Mui Ne, Vietnam, plus a steady clientele on Bali who want his design work for their private homes.