Chinachem Group - Benny Lee Interview

Benny Lee Interview

Benny Lee, Design Director (HK and UK reg. architect) - BREADstudio

"It’s an example of how Chinachem is thinking differently about the community. That piece of land is not a building area and won’t generate direct profits to the company, it’s always going to be a piece of landscape. But Donald has asked us to see how it can better blend into the urban fabric and enhance a sense of community. His incentive for developing that piece of land is pretty much charitable, and that’s very unusual for a developer.

So the approach we’ve taken is to engage with the public. This process is not about designing what Chinachem wants, it’s about what the neighbourhood wants. Therefore we are now in a dialogue with the community to see what they want from the concept design. We're asking them what they need, not putting a scheme in front of them and asking them to what they think, that wouldn’t generate any constructive outcome.

Then we align this study with the internal needs of Chinachem, and finally we come up with the concept scheme. It’s an unusual way to work, but it's the way to deliver what Donald Choi wants.

Donald is an admirable architect. He may not be the one who draws the lines these days, but every decision he takes has a very clear goal of making the world a better place. His thinking is always communal, contributing to the entire community.

BREADstudio’s philosophy aligns with Chinachem’s. No matter what we do we have a strong focus on the institutional and communal. We want to bring architecture closer to the community, as we believe it belongs to all."

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