Moshe Safdie was awarded the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Medal in May 2015. In his acceptance speech, he expressed, “I want to remind us that making architecture is a collective act. Like grand opera, it takes a composer, libretto writer, conductor, chorus master, soloists and many others to achieve.”
Many architect firms have collaborated with each other and have expanded their offices in Asia. In so doing, many wonderful creations and tallest buildings can be found in Asia. The Top 10 Architecture Firms in Asia are:
AEDAS was established in 2002 by London based AHR firm and Asian based LPT. The practice provides architecture, interior design, landscape design, urban design, office, retail, residential, hotel, infrastructure, education, civic and culture, and urban planning.
Projects include: Boulevard Plaza, Dubai; DAMAC Heights, Dubai; Express Rail Link West Kowloon Terminus; Mandarin Oriental Chengdu; Sky City Marriott Hotel Hong Kong and Pazhou Hotel in Guangzhou, China.
The firm was opened in 1965. It has 4500 professionals in 46 locations. Notable Gensler projects include Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, China and Abu Dhabi Financial Centre in the United Arab Emirates
It was founded in 1939 and has over 900 professionals working in offices around the globe. Its practice is highly ranked globally by Hotel Business; Building Design and Construction; Hotel Management; BD World Architecture; Hospitality Architecture and Design; and Hospitality Design.
Projects include: Four Seasons Resort, Hualālai in Hawaii; The Venetian Macao
Resort Hotel, Macao, China and 50 United Nations Plaza in San Francisco, California. The latter project won the 2015 Historic Preservation Award.
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) was founded in 1976 with offices in New York City, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Abu Dhabi. Operating as one firm with six global offices, KPF is led by 24 Principals and 27 Directors. The firm’s staff members are from 51 different countries and speak more than 30 languages.
KPF is one of the world’s leading architecture firms, providing architecture, interior, programming and master planning services for clients in both the public and private sectors.
It was awarded Best Chinese Project and Mixed-use Building by MIPIM Asia in 2009, and Best Tall Building Worldwide in 2008 by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong won the AIA Hong Kong Award of Merit in 2010; was listed in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2012 Best New Hotels Hotlist; received a 5-star rating in the 2013 Forbes Travel Guide Star Awards, and was highly recommended in the 2014 Trip Advisor Travelers Choice Awards. Other award-winning projects include Grand Hyatt Tokyo which won the ULI Award of Excellence in 2007.
ARCADIS was formed in 1888 and it is based in Colorado. Throughout the years this firm has made several acquisitions. In 2007 Arcadis acquired RTKL and in 2014 it acquired Callison. RTKL was formed in 1946. Callison is a global architecture firm that was founded in 1975. ARCADIS/Callison RTKL has offices around the world.
Projects designed by RTKL include Ebay situated in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Hilton Baltimore in Maryland. The entire City Crossing development received the top level five-star award in the mixed-use development category at the 2011 Asia Pacific Property Awards, for exhibiting excellence in green credentials, architectural merit, design and commercial development success. RTKL also shared with Gensler in the success of L.A. Live, which won a Special Award of Excellence and Gold Nugget Award in the Pacific Coast Builders Conference in 2009.
NBBJ was founded in 1943. It has global offices in Beijing, Boston, Columbus, London, Los Angeles, New York, Pune, San Francisco, Seattle and Shanghai. It was named among the top 10 most innovative architecture firms by Fast Company two years in a row.
Projects include: Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center in Hangzhou, China; NHN Headquarters Venture Tower in Bundang, South Korea and Shanghai Jiahui International Hospital in Shanghai, China.
Moshe Safdie was born in1938 in Haifa, Israel. His family moved to Montreal, Canada, in 1953. In 1961, Safdie graduated from McGill University with a degree in architecture. After apprenticing with Louis Kahn in Philadelphia, Safdie returned to Montreal to oversee the master plan for Expo 67. In 1964, he established his own firm to undertake Habitat 67, an adaptation of his McGill thesis.
Moshe Safdie established his own firm firstly in Jerusalem, and currently has offices in Boston, Toronto and Singapore.
Projects include: 1967 Habitat 67 at Expo 67 World’s Fair, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; 1988 Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem, Israel; 2010 Yitzhak Rabin Center, Tel Aviv, Israel and 2011 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore’s second integrated resort and casino.
Marina Bay Sands was done in collaboration with AEDAS. The building won over 40 awards across various disciplines, including Design of the Year in the 2011 Singapore President’s Design Awards, Innovation in Structural Engineering at the Bentley Systems 2010 Be Inspired Awards, and Condé Nast Traveler’s 2011 Hot List of the world’s best new hotels.
The firm was established in 1946 by the late Kenzo Tange, renowned Japanese architect and winner of the 1987 Pritzker Prize. It has offices in Taipei, Shanghai, Singapore, Jakarta, London and Vancouver.
Kenzō Tange was born in 1913 and lived until he was 91 years. The firm is well established in the industry.
He was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. Tange implemented traditional Japanese styles with modernism and designed buildings in the five continents. Tange was also a supporter of the metabolist movement and was influenced by Le Corbusier.
He gained international recognition in 1949 when he won the competition for the design of Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. Other projects include: Fuji Television Building, Odaiba, Tokyo in 1996; Tokyo Dome Hotel in 2000 and the Hwa Chong Institution Boarding School, Singapore which was completed in 2005.
Tadao Ando was born in 1941 and is a Japanese self-taught architect. After being a boxer for a short period, Ando began his self-education by apprenticing with several professional designers and city planners. In the 1960s he travelled to Europe and the United States to analyze the great buildings and document his observations in a detailed sketch book. He intensively studied the work of Le Corbusier. In 1968 he returned to Osaka and established his own design studio. He won the Pritzker Prize in1995
Projects include: Tomishima House, Osaka, Japan; Row House/Azuma House, Japan and Aurora Museum, Shanghai, China in 2013.
Toyo Ito was born in Seoul, Korea, in 1941. His parents were from Japan and in 1943, he moved to Japan with his family. Toyo graduated from the University of Tokyo’s Department of Architecture in 1965. In 1971 he started his own studio in Tokyo, named Urbot (“Urban Robot”). In 1979, the studio name was changed to Toyo Ito & Associates.
His projects include: Serpentine Gallery, London, UK (2002); Vivo City, Singapore (2006); World Games Stadium, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2008) and Taoyuan International Airport, Taoyuan, Taiwan. In 2013, Ito was awarded the Pritzker Prize.
In his speech, Moshe reflected on the words of his mentor Louis Kahn. He disclosed that Louis Kahn imparted to him, “Let a building be what it wants to be.”