Who is he? Paul Katz is the principal in architectural practice KPF, which is responsible for West Kowloon's 108-storey International Commerce Centre (ICC), due to be completed in 2008. The architect joined KPF in 1984 and has been instrumental in establishing the firm's presence in Asia, particularly Hong Kong, Shanghai, South Korea and Japan. What's his philosophy? Katz believes good architecture should focus on more than the aesthetic value of buildings. 'Architects like to believe they know what is good for people and how to anticipate lifestyles,' he says. 'Architecture is for everyone who looks at it and uses it. That is the enduring quality of architecture. It is a form of communication.' Katz says the ICC, slated to be Hong Kong's tallest building, will be a model for Asia. Why a model? Katz says the lines separating the physical, spacial and intellectual zones of our lives have blurred, eroding the nine-to-five lifestyle. In Hong Kong, where people live relatively close to where they work, the ICC will serve as a microcosm that reflects the 21st-century lifestyle, he says, adding, 'It can become the model for the region where work, entertainment and transportation all merge.' He believes the 19 million sq ft ICC should be viewed as complementary to the IFC, on Hong Kong Island, both being 'gateposts' to the harbour. Poetry in local architecture? The 49-year-old is romantic but pragmatic about the evolution of architecture. He finds it 'poetic' and fun that city planning has evolved around the shore and slopes 'where one can enter a building from the 10th floor'. But he laments the loss of the Star Ferry pier - 'I loved those old concrete buildings' - and thinks replacing it with an Edwardian-style construction was a mistake. But, 'to make things better, you need to take things down,' says Katz, who sees the lack of sentimentality in Asia as a strength rather than a weakness. Other projects? For the past 12 years, Katz has been working on the facelift of The Landmark. It started with the interior, then the basement, the Landmark Mandarin and finally the exterior. He is keen to 'bring the interior out', to make The Landmark connect with Queen's Road. Other of his projects include the tallest building in Tokyo's Roppongi Hills (2001) and the Shanghai World Financial Centre, which is due to be completed next year.