Liong Lie

“Passion will outlive money and other things so it is important to do something close to your heart.  If you have an interest – go for the maximum and remember you are acting inside a community. Often to achieve something we need to collaborate with others and we need others to make it happen.”

Liong LieI own an architectural firm with about 10 people – a mix of designers and technical staff to execute building projects.

During my youth I knew I would design something. And then when I was in high school I was always drawing and making furniture.  By accident, when I visited a university, I saw architectural students making models and that was the moment I knew in my heart I wanted to be an architect.

What drives me is thinking out of the box to surprise people.  If a client wants a house or a building, we consider the budget of course and then we translate this into something that is more than just doors and walls so that it also has an emotional impact. And if it is a conference center for example, we want people to be glad to share knowledge and be happy to return.

It’s a process which starts with an idea, and then together with the client and builder we create places to work and live in.  I find it especially meaningful when people are enthusiastic about the process and when they make it their own.  If I return in a year or two and it’s a house and they feel like it is their home; or if it is a company and they feel their organisation performs well in the building; then I’m fulfilled.

We are now doing a project in Malawi, in Southeast Africa for a company who is producing sustainable energy – they squeeze oil out of seeds from trees.  We travelled to Malawi and then went into how the client works, how their culture functions, and observed how they would use a building.  We considered all those local issues before we started the design.  Our approach was to get the best out of the building materials to achieve a level of energy efficiency you would find here in Europe and yet create an environment which is a reflection of the local life in Southeast Africa.  We wanted the workers to have a better atmosphere and for the building to have a special kind of character.

In the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you do, but for me personally passion is very important.  Passion will outlive money and other things so it is important to do something close to your heart.  If you have an interest – go for the maximum and remember you are acting inside a community. Often to achieve something we need to collaborate with others and we need others to make it happen.

I wanted to be an architect and I went to university and I started to work for companies, but in the back of my head  I always thought if I was my own company I would do it differently .  The little voice said you should try.  In the beginning it was difficult with only small projects, but somehow I felt it was the best for me.  From there it started to grow and that was 11 years ago.

on twitter

Subscribe to our newsletter

stay up to date with the latest ebbf news