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Leading the Architectural Journey

Nine months on from its establishment, Lead Architecture has expanded from a temporary office to a new studio in Quarry Bay

Hong Kong was a natural choice for Lead Architecture (Lead), according to its director Simon Blore. “There is a deep employment pool here for the type of design work that we undertake, and combined with the very supportive business environment, low and simple tax regime, air connections around the region and proximity to our key market Mainland China, these are all compelling reasons for us to be here,” he said.

“With the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge being completed in the near term, we see the strategic importance of Hong Kong continuing to grow,” Blore added.

Leading the Architectural Journey

Coming from a diverse range of cultures and nationalities, Lead’s team in Hong Kong offers full services, which include masterplanning, architecture, interiors, graphics, product design, signage and branding. The team has grown from three to 60 in less than a year, and has a further 10 to 15 employees in the pipeline to help cover a series of recent major project wins.

“In the early months, our staff compliment was primarily focused on the early stages of design, but we already have projects in technical/working drawings stage as they move towards construction onsite. So we need to continue to expand and recruit architects and designers with technical expertise,” Blore explained.

Organic Growth

Lead’s key projects include designing the retail zones of a transport hub in north Malaysia, a major new retail destination in Shanghai, a huge department store in Taipei and another in Harbin, and two 200-metre towers allied to two retail destinations in Mainland China.

Lead’s immediate expansion is focused on southeast Asia, and it has set up a presence in both Singapore and Malaysia to cover these key markets. In time Lead is planning to set up a representative office in Mainland China, and further afield, will be establishing in Europe, probably the UK, towards the end of 2015 or early 2016 as the market strengthens there. In this regard, Blore sees the strong connections between Hong Kong and the UK as very helpful in assisting Lead in establishing a UK design studio.

Blore and Lead’s other seven founders have lived in Hong Kong for a long time. “The phrase ‘open for business’ is often used, but it fits very well what Hong Kong has to offer. It is a liveable city and very accommodating to both new and established businesses. Setting up Lead in March 2014 took us only two weeks, and then we were off and running. The reporting and tax rules are uncomplicated and undemanding, so for business ‘newbies’ like us we can maximise our time growing our company rather than being tied up in bureaucracy and filing procedures,” Blore concluded.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Further Reading (Please click here to download Acrobat Reader)

Fast Facts

  • Established in March 2014
  • Studios in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia

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