Chan Sau Yan, Sonny was born in 1941 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He had his primary, secondary and tertiary education in Malaysia and the United Kingdom, graduating as an architect in 1963 from the Northern Polytechnic of London and did post graduate Tropical studies at the Architectural Association in 1964.
Thereafter, he practised in London with Arup Associates. He returned to Singapore in 1965 to continue his practice and established Chan Sau Yan Associates in 1993, after 29 years in his previous firm as a senior partner.
His experience encompasses a wide range of residential, commercial, institutional, recreational and tourism related projects in the region as well as internationally. His extensive experience in resorts and city hotels span over 39 years working with international chain operators including Hyatt, Sheraton, IHG, Mandarin Oriental, Hard Rock Café.
His firm has won many awards for design excellence. In 2001, he was awarded URA Heritage Award for 45 Emerald Hill, Innovators Award for Hard Rock Café Bali and top prize in the competition to design the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok. The project Hotel Maya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia won Malaysia Interior Design Award 2005, SIA Architectural Award 2006 and PAM 2006 Award. Sonny Chan also received the prestigious President’s Design Award 2011 - Designer of the Year.
Not contented to simply evoke our senses through his signature creations in locations from Abu Dhabi to Bali, Sonny Chan is also a teacher true to his calling, sharing with aspirants the world over his knowledge and understanding of designer concepts and urban development challenges. He has been an external tutor and associate professor at the School of Architecture, National University of Singapore. He was also a founder member of the Singapore Planning and Urban Research Group and has served in the professional and government institutions, acting in various capacities.