Simon KWAN Sin-ming
2016 Honorary Doctorate
Dr Simon Kwan Sin-ming has won fame as an architect, a designer, a painter, a connoisseur, a scholar and a teacher.
Born in Hong Kong, Dr Kwan studied Architecture and Fine Arts at the University of Hong Kong, and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree in 1967 and a PhD degree in Fine Arts in 1989. In 1973 he set up his own company, Simon Kwan & Associates Ltd. In its 43 years of practice, the company has established a fine reputation for delivering exceptional design services, and has won many prizes and awards. Major projects include, of course, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong Science Park, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, many institutional buildings such as the Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre, the Police Headquarters and a number of hospital complexes and numerous residential and commercial complexes. The company’s buildings are well known in architectural circles around the world, and featured in publications such as 581 Architects of the World, published in Japan.
Dr Kwan and his company have won numerous awards for their work. Many of the institutional projects undertaken by Simon Kwan and Associates resulted from their winning architectural design competitions. The firm has also gained awards from the Architectural Services Department and the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and other institutes in green and sustainable architecture. In tribute to his outstanding contribution to architecture, Dr Kwan was awarded the Artist of the Year Award by the Hong Kong Artists’ Guild in 1989. In 1999, he was elected a Fellow of the University of Hong Kong. In 2004, he became an Honorary University Fellow of the Open University of Hong Kong.
Dr Kwan’s love of beauty extends beyond architecture. He is also a painter, and a dedicated researcher and scholar in the field of Chinese art and design. He has written many papers and delivered many lectures on Chinese art at universities and institutions both in Hong Kong and abroad. He has served as adviser and committee member to the Hong Kong Museum of Art, the Hong Kong University Museum, and the Chinese University Museum and Art Gallery for more than 20 years. His publications on Chinese Arts include Chinese gold ornaments, brush and clay, early Chinese glass, Chinese lacquer, Chinese portraits, Chinese jades, ivories, ceramics, and inkstones.
Dr Kwan’s design emphasises functionality and efficiency, spatial quality and aesthetics, while also placing emphasis on the application of advanced technology. In recent years, his company has concentrated on the study and hands-on application of building energy efficiency and environmental protection. The company has won numerous green building honours for its projects, including the Green Building Award, Sustainable Design Award, and Energy Efficient Building Award.
Dr Kwan was awarded the commission to design The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 1981, and his design won the Annual Award of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects after the Academy’s completion in 1985. The design of the Academy became one of his signature projects, and is cited in the 20th edition of Banister Fletcher’s classic textbook A History of Architecture. The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts is the only piece of architecture in Hong Kong that features in the prestigious Complete Book of Chinese Modern Art.