If you think about some of Hong Kong’s and the mainland’s most iconic structures, familiar names such as Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid and Paul Andreu will always feature somewhere.
However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify prominent structures that can be associated with locally grown talent. Some attribute this to recent media reports on poor construction work in various mainland projects, with a knock-on effect that has not helped the promotion of locally educated architects. As a result, international and Hong Kong-based developers have always needed senior overseas-educated talent for high accountability positions to ensure management transparency and integrity.
But thanks to a re-energised market, there is an emerging trend among local developers to recruit locally and, in many cases directly from the mainland, those with a certain degree of overseas exposure.
Alfred Yeung, partner at Brock Carmichael, says developers want recruits who understand local culture. He says the supply of qualified staff has not caught up with the demand as those who were trained abroad often prefer to remain overseas.