Architectural Designer Pamela Tan On Her Work and Iconic Buildings

What a bottle she designs would be like and how Frank Gehry has inspired her.
Tuesday 15 December 2020
Pamela Tan's work dabbles in different kinds of design. Photo: Moet Hennessy Malaysia

Hennessy X.O celebrates 150 years of greatness, legacy and its odyssey this year and in celebration of this, Moët Hennessy has unveiled a limited-edition decanter designed by world-renowned architect extraordinaire, Frank Gehry.

Gehry’s signature sculptural style can be seen in the reinterpretation of the timeless Hennessy X.O bottle, marrying gold and glass to extol Hennessy’s rich and amaranthine legacy. To celebrate this collaboration, UNRESERVED speaks to Pamela Tan, an architectural designer who explores various fields in art, architecture and design. Her work blurs the boundaries between disciplines that embody narrative and values in all form and aims to propose speculative ideas that seek the subtle unseen and unveil the unknown delights in all scales.


How would you describe your style of work?
My work dabbles with art, architecture and design. I like working in various range of scales such as from product design to spatial design.



What building would you consider to be an icon and why?
I find the Centre Pompidou in Paris, iconic. The building is very radical and embrace Cedric Price’s ‘The Fun Palace’ essence. Pompidou received quite a bad press when it first unveiled around the mid 70’s because it seems like someone just landed a giant spaceship in the middle of Paris and the locals didn’t take it very well. However, later the building became an icon in Paris and remains timeless till this day.



Name a building you would have loved to design or a project you would have loved to be a part of and why.
I would love to further my research on my Architecture Master’s degree Thesis ‘Soil City‘ one day and put it into practice. The thesis questions soil extinction and how architecture takes place when topsoil completely extinct.


As an architect, how does someone like Frank Gehry influence your work?
Frank Gehry shared a quote from a musician, Wayne Shorter, “You can’t rehearse what you ain’t invented yet”, which strikes me the most. It makes a lot of sense of what he does and how he continuously produces and experiments his prototype models until he is satisfied with it.


Name 3 elements/characteristics that you think every building should have.
Puts humanity first, sensitive to the environment, and has an in-depth content.


What do you think of the collection bottle that Frank Gehry has created?
I think it captures the beauty of Gehry’s intricate and complex ‘fold’ texture form which reflect in many of his other works.


“I think it captures the beauty of Gehry’s intricate and complex ‘fold’ texture form which reflect in many of his other works.” Photo: Moët Hennessy Diageo Malaysia


If you had the chance to design a bottle that reflects you, what would that bottle be like?
I guess I would design it in a way it looks like an intricate organic vein growing around the bottle and it’s floating.


What is the next project you are working on?
I’m currently working on several exciting private commission projects. I can’t wait to share it once it is completed.