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Tonkin Liu

Practice Network

The origin of each project grows out of the place it is sited, the people who will occupy it, and the culture that surrounds it at that particular time. This emphatic search for beginnings is set out in our book Asking Looking Playing Making (1999). The design methodology searches for archetypes that will inform the process of the project from inception, through completion, to the reading of the work.

Mike Tonkin was educated at the Royal College of Art in London and Anna Liu was educated at Columbia University in New York, both qualified as architects in the UK. They came together in Hong Kong with an interest in dismantling current mythology and, through their observations, invent their own. Teaching and research have formed a vehicle for exploration over the last 15 years. The teaching at the AA School of Architecture 2001-2005 explored patterns of construction in nature and patterns of behavior in human nature.

Tonkin Liu’s projects include award-winning urban regeneration schemes, buildings, landscape, and artwork. Each project is an exploration of our relationship to nature. Some projects celebrate changing weather and seasons, some evoke the power of nature as symbols, whilst others emulate natural form and performance, using lessons in nature to inspire pioneering construction techniques. Our preoccupation with nature informs our design process, whether through bio-mimicry or by using elements nature generously gives us for free. The search in each project brings to the fore a persistent interest in nature and human nature.

Singing Ringing Tree