INTERSHORES I Building The Future Through Asia - HK (Experience Sharing)

Design consultancy CallisonRTKL was formed in 2015, under the global engineering consultancy Arcadis. With 1,700 professionals working across 24 offices worldwide, CallisonRTKL specialises in architecture, interior design and urban design through four major practice groups – commercial, retail stores, healthcare and workplace.


Darryl J. Custer, Regional Practice Group Leader, South Asia, Commercial, sees Hong Kong as a market unto itself but also a bridge between Mainland China and Southeast Asia. “We have a long history in Asia and have been very successful in Mainland China, but we are seeing renewed activity throughout Southern China and Southeast Asia,” he said.


“Hong Kong is an ideal location for us. If you look at our network across the world, we tend to focus on what we called ‘gateway cities’ – those cities that are connected, or bring connectivity, to other regions,” Custer continued. “To us, Hong Kong is a good tie between Asia, Southeast Asia and Mainland China. It is easy to travel to anywhere on the planet from here. The energy, flow of capital and talent are all here. The level of quality is extremely high. It’s right in the middle of everything. That’s why we like it.”


In Hong Kong, the firm has developed a strong team with expertise in commercial architecture, urban design as well as retail interior design for regional and local markets. “For CallisonRTKL, it is more about enhancing value than a pure stylistic approach. We help our clients find value in their assets and bring properties into the next generation,” Custer remarked. “We are looking at some large commercial mixed-used projects locally, while we also see a lot of potential here for the retail sector.” The team has recently worked with the travel retail operator CDFG-Lagardere to design a Duty Free Store at the Hong Kong International Airport.


According to Custer, there are a lot of talented architects and designers in Hong Kong. Thanks to the city’s deep and diverse talent pool, CallisonRTKL's team is a mix of local and international professionals. “Hong Kong is a very international city, which is appealing to us as a design firm. The city has a great blend of cultures so that we are able to bring different ideas to our projects,” he remarked. Over the next few years, the firm is looking to expand the office to 45 employees. It is also CallisonRTKL’s goal to do more projects in Hong Kong and broaden the team’s capabilities.


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