Born in Hong Kong in 1957, Steve Leung says that the reason that he got into the field of architecture and interior design is his family: "Probably around the age of 10, I was already aspiring to become an architect for a very simple reason," he recalls. "At that time, I was living with my parents, my grandparents and also an uncle and aunt of mine — and my uncle, he himself is an architect. I used to see him working at night in his room… He wasactually my idol."
Leung went on to study architecture at the University of Hong Kong before taking up a position at the highly regarded practice Wong & Ouyang. There, he was assigned to the design team where he had the opportunity to undertake a number of projects under the direction of the principal partner. He then went to work for the Buildings Ordinance Office (now known as the Buildings Department) to learn how the government works in regards to planning approval for new designs.
The confident young designer had always wanted to start up his own practice, so at the age of 30, he set up an architectural and urban planning consultancy, restructuring into Steve Leung Architects (SLA) and Steve Leung Designers (SLD) a decade later.
His first project was actually an extension project for his old alma mater, Munsang College in Kowloon City. Since then, the practice has grown and grown, and now has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, with more than 400 staff working on projects in more than 100 cities all over the world.
Leung's body of work extends across Hong Kong, China, and internationally, encompassing notable projects such as yoo residence and 39 Conduit Road in Hong Kong; Sing Yin at W Hong Kong; Shangri-la Hotel at The Shard, London; and Yuan at Atlantis the Palm Dubai. The firm has also worked on a number of collaborative projects such as Nature's Jewel Box for Vissionaire, H377 Serie SL Duemilasedici for Fusital and Inkstone for Neutra.
The architect, interior and product designer says that he finds inspiration for his work in a myriad of different places. "I enjoy life. I enjoy a lot of things. I enjoy walking around, I enjoy talking to people, I enjoy shopping, window-shopping, travelling; I get my inspiration almost everywhere."
This is an excerpt from the “Hometown Hero" article from the January/February 2017 issue of Perspective magazine.
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