The Test Of Time
Perspective|January - February 2018

Renowned architect Luke Fox celebrates a 20-year legacy at Foster + Partners. He chats with Perspective on a recent visit to Hong Kong about working in Asia and Europe and designing for the present and future

Jon Braun

Based in London as a senior executive partner and the head of studio for Foster + Partners, Luke Fox has come a long way. After studying architecture at the University of Sydney, he worked with KPF in New York for four years before moving to London in 1998 to join the acclaimed studio. Since then, he’s been involved in a slew of major developments around the world; at present, his team is juggling The Murray in Hong Kong, the Haramain High Speed Rail and a Four Seasons hotel in Saudi Arabia, six new metro stations in Sydney – and numerous other projects.

Celebrating his 20th anniversary at the firm this year, did Fox ever see himself in this position? “It was a great honour to get a job at Foster + Partners, and I never thought I’d be in the situation I’m in,” he admits. “To be honest, my original plan was always to go back to Sydney after a couple of years – and almost 20 years later, here I am! Life takes its own direction, as much as you think you know which way it’s going to go.”

And how times have changed. “When I started, I worked on one part of a building, designing and drawing every second of every day, plus a lot of coordination meetings with the engineers. Today, I review all the designs, but I don’t do as much of the hands-on drawing – I miss that. We work very much as a meritocracy; the best idea wins. There’s a point when you reach the core idea and the principle, which stands up to scrutiny and interrogation. That becomes the principle by which you say, ‘are these suggestions making that better or worse?’ To stand up to the test of time, you have to satisfy a lot of things – the client’s requirements, the budget, the environmental criteria.”

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