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Exclusive Interview with Architect Peter WangTuesday 1 September 2015
Even-keeled, curious, loyal that’s how Peter Wang describes himself. He is a visionary who continually finds ways to innovate, with the combined experience of building, workplace and brand design that is reflected in Peter’s diverse portfolio of projects.
New York is the work place for an inspiring architect that has the world as a limit for his projects. Peter Wang is a talented and award-winning architect that works for Gensler – as Design Director and Principal – a world recognized design firm.
Peter Wang is a visionary that always tries to find ways to innovate in each project he embraces. He is an active member of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) in New York, a National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) certificate-holder and supervisor and, in 2004, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) recognized Peter as one of Ten To Watch designers across the USA. Peter is also an advisor to the Northeast Regional Digital Design Task Force and is involved in the Firmwide Commercial Office Buildings Practice Area. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture at Columbia University and a Master of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
All of his projects are focused on the creation of inspiring environments. Real estate development, retail, media and technology are some of the areas where Peter Wang worked. Art, music, design, culture, travel, colleagues and clients are Peter’s sources of inspiration, but now it’s time to hear a little more about this amazing architect by his own words.
Covet Edition Magazine – Why have you decided becoming an architect?
Peter Wang – Growing up, I loved to draw — but found that I drew hard, straight lines, (buildings and objects) much better than soft, curvy lines (people and animals)! At the risk of sounding like an architect’s cliche, I must admit that I also built a lot of Lego and plastic models. Not only were these creative outlets, but they really helped me develop my three dimensional skills and understanding of how assemblies came together.
CM – How would you describe your style? Do you have a signature touch?
PW – I don’t have a signature style. Our design philosophy at Gensler is to allow our client and their goals be our guide. We craft a design concept and story around our client’s project brief, and strive to create not only an appropriate, but compelling and enlightening design solution.
CM – Can you talk about one of your favorite projects that you have developed?
PW – A few years ago we completed twin office buildings on a campus of a pharmaceutical company. These were special because from both the inside and the outside, the buildings exemplified the sea change in the company’s culture. These were the beginnings of an organization’s cultural shift from departmental silos, private offices and high-paneled workstations to a 95% open workplace environment. Our new buildings brought daylight and view into the workplace with floor to ceiling glass — a marked difference from their current buildings with small, punched window facades.
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CM – Is there anything exciting that you are working on at the moment that you can tell us about? Any new projects?
PW – One exciting current project is the workplace design for Comcast’s new tower in Philadelphia on which Gensler is collaborating with Foster & Partners. In addition to the pleasure of designing with a great firm like F&P, we are re-envisioning the workplace as a user customizable cross functional collaboration space. The workplace will feel bright, open and be a loft-like platform for supporting the work groups today while being flexible enough to accommodate new ways of working as the groups evolve into the future.
CM – What do you love about being an architect?
PW – Architecture is one of those rare professions that is both art and science and allows one to exercise both sides of the brain in harmony. I always like to say that “no two days are ever the same.” Architecture is a profession where every day brings new challenges and experiences. Each day brings a new problem to solve; and these are not just design problems, mind you. I just love a good problem!
CM – Which major international events do you attend/follow to get all the latest novelties?
PW – With three growing children, any international travel is usually centered on family vacations. I do attend ICFF here in New York, but find web-based sources and the usual publications my “go-to” resources for keeping up to date on what’s happening around the world.
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CM – Which architects do you admire?
PW – There are really just so many! Just to rattle off a few right now: Tom Phifer, Bjarke Ingels, 3XN, Barkow Leibinger, Mies, Kengo Kuma, Herzog & de Meuron. But I am most inspired by the beautiful work of countless small firms around the world that are featured on sites such as Dezeen and Archdaily…
CM – What is your philosophy on architecture and life?
PW – A person can always be credited with giving their best effort, even if they trip and fall — whether it’s about being a better architect or simply a better person. Always strive to do your best.