The 2017 Life Power List

Gunning for unusual interiors

Mr Matthew Shang (right) and Mr Paul Semple, both 42
Mr Matthew Shang (right) and Mr Paul Semple, both 42PHOTOS: LIANHE ZAOBAO FILE, ST FILE

16 Mr Matthew Shang and Mr Paul Semple, both 42, principals at multidisciplinary international design practice Hassell

In the 14 years that this pair of veteran interior designers have called Singapore home, they have developed a portfolio of stunning interiors in luxury developments.

This marks the Australia-born duo's debut on the Life Power List.

They are behind the decor of some of Singapore's most stylish spots, including Regent Singapore's Manhattan bar and Tea Lounge, retail bottle shop The Proof Flat and the Atlas Grand Lobby & Bar at Parkview Square.

They are currently working on several hospitality commissions in Australia as well as a flagship store for luxury watch retailer The Hour Glass in Melbourne's central business district - a project in collaboration with Hassell's Melbourne office.

In the pipeline are also projects in Bali and Sri Lanka.

Mr Shang and Mr Semple worked in design-related fields in Australia and Singapore before setting up their own firm, Distillery, here. They ran it for about eight years before merging it in 2015 with Hassell.

Hassell began in 1938 in Australia and has about 10 studios worldwide in places including Britain, China and the United States.

On their progress, Mr Shang says: "You are only as good as your last project. We are constantly trying to push and challenge the briefs we receive, so that the project can be the very best it can be - not only in terms of how it looks, but how it feels and operates."

Bryna Singh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 03, 2017, with the headline 'Gunning for unusual interiors'. Print Edition | Subscribe