American architect Michael Graves who masterplanned Resorts World Sentosa dies

Celebrated American architect Michael Graves, whose practice collaborated with home-grown firm DP Architects for Resorts World Sentosa's masterplan, died yesterday (Thursday) at his home in Princeton, New Jersey.

The 80-year-old's firm, Michael Graves Architecture & Design, released a statement, saying that his death was sudden, though it was from natural causes. Graves had been paralysed from the waist down since 2003 as a result of a spinal cord infection.

The 3.5 million sq ft Resorts World Sentosa opened in 2010.

It includes six hotels, a spa and two popular theme parks, Universal Studios Singapore and the Marine Life Park, which houses the largest oceanarium in the world.

Hotel Michael, an 11-storey hotel on the property, was named after Graves and was designed to resemble an art gallery, with murals and paintings on the wall, and reflect his style.

Ms Angelene Chan, deputy CEO of DP Architects, was sad to hear about Graves' death. She called him the firm's "collaborator and friend".

"We were fortunate to work with him and his office and I was always moved by the humility and wit that formed the basis of his work. He would draw and paint from his wheelchair and he impressed me greatly with his strength, passion and dedication.

"He was not only a great architect, but also a strong believer in the profession's ability to enrich the human experience through design."

Graves, who was born in Indianapolis and studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati and Harvard University, was behind famous buildings such as the Team Disney Building in California and the Burj Dubai Towers.

He was part of the New York Five, a group of architects which included Peter Eisenman, Richard Meier, Charles Gwathmey, who died in 2009, and John Hejduk, who died in 2000.

The New York Times said that Graves was a profilic architect of the " latter 20th century, who designed more than 350 buildings around the world but was perhaps best known for his teakettle and pepper mill."