During the past few years, conflicts over trade, human rights, Hong Kong, and the status of Taiwan have soured relations between China and the United States. At the same time, the ongoing pandemic has severely restricted travel, further fraying ties between the world’s two largest economies. This increasingly fraught situation has made it more difficult for some U.S. architecture firms to work in China, where there appears to be a growing chill and cloud of uncertainty about the future.
While none of the architects interviewed say they have lost jobs due to political tensions, they are navigating a more complicated business landscape. “We haven’t experienced any reduction in work in China, but there are more hoops we have to jump through now,” says Li Chung (Sandi) Pei, a co-founder of PEI Architects (formerly Pei Partnership Architects) with his brother Chien Chung (Didi) Pei. “The approval process is more complex now,” adds principal Toh Tsun Lim. The firm is relying more on their collaborators, the local design institutes (LDIs), who are closer to the government approval agencies.
You have 0 complimentary articles remaining.
Unlimited access + premium benefits for as low as $1.99/month.