Architects raise their glasses to another year of thinking big

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 September, 2008, 12:00am

About 250 staff from the architecture firm Aedas were whooping it up at Cafe Einstein last Friday. The regional office was in a champagne mood after another good year. They just completed the Four Seasons Macau and the Venetian's Cirque du Soleil theatre, as well as securing commissions like the Sha Tin-Central link and other airport and rail infrastructure projects. In Dubai they also got the contract for what could be the world's largest hotel, to be called Asia Asia. It's no surprise chief executive Dave Roberts (left) wanted to celebrate.

'Securing prestigious commissions takes a lot of time and effort,' he said. These days, Roberts spends less time on blueprints and more on airplanes. He's heading to Los Angeles later this month, then to New York and London the following week. But he often reminisces about his more 'down to earth' days as a young draftsman in Hong Kong working on not necessarily a glamour building, but something close to his heart about 20 years ago.

'The Kwai Chung Terminal 4 was the biggest distribution centre in Hong Kong and it was probably the largest in the world at the time. For me, as a young architect, it was a huge project. We had a lot of fun. Now, projects are a lot larger and something several million square feet is not uncommon. People don't draw with pens anymore. Everything is done on computers. Technology has really changed the profession, but one thing will not change: the creativity.'