We’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the winner of the 1st prize of our “Hong Kong Pixel Homes ” competition - Lap Chi Kwong, Alison Von Glinow and Kevin Lamyuktseung from USA!

1st prize winners Lap Chi Kwong and Alison Von Glinow

In collaboration with Kevin Lamyuktseung

Kwong Von Glinow Design Office was founded by Lap Chi Kwong and Alison Von Glinow in December 2016 in Chicago. Our office currently has a total of four employees. Prior to opening our office, we have a total of 7 years of working experience at Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Switzerland. Lap Chi was also a design researcher for Wang Shu at Amateur Architecture Studio in Hangzhou, China. Alison has also collaborated with SOM in both the Chicago and New York offices. Both Lap Chi and Alison completed their Masters of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Brief information about the projects that you/your company have been involved with. For instance what scale have you focused on/preferred, any significant projects where company/ individuals have been involved?

Our firm splits our design time between competitions and commissions. Since beginning our company, we have won 1st prize in two international competitions in the last five months. The first was for our project titled The Grand Lattice, which created landmark viewing decks at underpass intersections along Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. The second competition we won was our proposal Table Top Apartments for Bee Breeder’s New York Affordable Housing Competition. When we opened our firm, we decided we wanted to develop our own portfolio of projects as we are interested in gaining as commissions, so we have curated the type of competitions we enter based on what we would like to build.

We are currently working on several residential remodels in both Chicago and Hong Kong. We are grateful to have these small residential projects within the first several months of our firm. We have been enjoying designing and engaging with the clients on every little detail for these projects. We understand that what we make has to be beautiful, functional, and fit the way they will use the space.

Our professional background has focused on large scale projects such as those we worked on while at Herzog & de Meuron, like the M+ Museum in Hong Kong, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge Stadium, in addition to projects like Zhong Hong Tower in Beijing while at SOM. We have loved engaging with these cultural designs for international cities. From working on these projects, we have seen first-hand how architecture has the power to shape the physical presence of society.

What does architecture mean to you and what is the role of the architect in your society?

We have been very fortunate to live and work in many international cities: Basel, Copenhagen, Rome, Venice, Chicago, New York City, Tokyo, and Hong Kong – just in the last ten years. As such, we see our role as architectural designers defined not by a single society, but rather shaped by the global society. For us, architecture means to engage with its local surroundings, and to welcome any user from any society. From the many residential, commercial, and cultural projects we have worked on at Herzog & de Meuron and SOM, we have learned that a great architectural project does not limit itself to its location, but can become an international attractor. Our interest is in architecture that is enlivened by the present, incorporated into its surrounding environment, and, most important of all, related to its user. Our architecture creates physical spaces that people enjoy spending time in.

Why do you participate in architecture vision competitions?

We participate in architecture vision competitions when we find extra time in our office work. The value we find in participating in these competitions is that it builds our vision, challenges us to think of design issues that we do not work with everyday, and brings more and more ideas into our firm’s oeuvre. It is a great way for us to be inventive and to be engaged in what is relevant in the discipline.

What advice would you give to individuals who struggle to decide whether it would be beneficial for them to participate in architecture vision competitions?

We have been very selective about the competitions we enter. The first question we ask ourselves is, it this the right project for us? We look through the brief and ask, is it a relevant topic for us to address, and is there something that we can bring to the table? We want to do projects where there is the potential to take something that is ordinary - whether it is a run-down warehouse or a super block of blank-slate land – and turn it into something that can serve and make the place more enjoyable in the future.

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