2022 Winner

Mr Yongzheng Li

Title: Partner
Company: United Units Architects
Design Philosophy:

As a Co-founder and the Chief Architect of UUA, over the past decade I have had the privilege to combine my personal interest with the practice of the office, and shaped a design philosophy seeing architecture as a combination of humanistic temperament and technical precision. The ‘Humanistic Temperature’ describes our intention to establish the spiritual connection between people and architecture and consequently to make the building a carrier of meaning. The ‘Technical Precision’ refers to our geometrical-based design approach to integrate building systems into one entity. This design philosophy is derived from my own educational and professional experience. Tutored by Professor CJ Lim in the Bartlett, I have been encouraged to explore creative ways to reflect cultural narratives in architectural design. Following graduation, I joined Foster and Patners in London, being fortunate enough to work on the new Apple Park project for 3 years. It was an extraordinary learning experience, as the entire design development was like a scientific research, exploring options to discover the best solution. Setting up UUA in 2012 defined the next stage of my career. Unlike typical startups, we won the Exo Towers at the beginning when I was 29. This unique experience gave me an opportunity to digest the knowledge I had gained from the past experience, allowing us to develop a high standard of design. Our works have been acknowledged by media and press worldwide, and received a number of design awards internationally. In parallel to professional practice, I have been invited to teach at Tsinghua University, and I was also appointed a Placement Tutor at the University of Bath. In short, as an architect under 40, I look forward to the recognition from authoritative peers, which will positively promote the development of our practice and inspire us to be a better version of ourselves.