Tell us about your background…
My road to becoming an architect differs from many architectural students in Hong Kong.
I dreamed of being an architect when I was in Year 6. However, I am not good at exams, so I failed my high school public exam. People say that if you fail the public exam in Hong Kong, life ends at that time. Usually, if you pass the public exam with excellent marks, you can go straight into architectural school at the university. However, only two universities in Hong Kong teach architecture.
I then studied civil engineering in an institutional school, jumped into an associate degree in architecture and travelled to the UK for my undergraduate degree (part 1), and back to Hong Kong for the postgraduate degree (part 2). Six years later, I passed my architecture exam (part 3).
The most memorable moment was the second I held the Architect Registration certificate, meaning the 16-year dream had come true.
What inspired you to become an architect?
When I was in secondary school, there was a TV drama at the time about Hong Kong’s Architecture. One thing the main character said really stuck with me:
“I tried to be hardworking; every day, I worked overtime for the little money. Do you see those people out there? Do you think that the rich man knows architecture? They only take little money from their pocket, use little of their time, burn up the property market, and then earn a huge profit! But usually, people spend their whole life repaying the mortgage! Is it fair? Go to the street and ask everyone what house they want. They only want an elementary home! Not the fake luxury building! The house is for living, not for the stock market!”
What do you enjoy most about working at Hyphen?
Hybrid working. As a father of two young children, a flexible working schedule gives me a quality work-life balance.
What’s next for Anzon?
I was a very senior architect when I was in Hong Kong. I went backwards more than two career levels when I came to the UK. My target here is to go back to a senior level.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in architecture?
Stay hungry! The world of technology is very fast; the knowledge learned in school can be outdated in a second. So, keep learning!
What advice would you give to architects in Hong Kong who are considering relocating to London?
The cultural differences here are not only in the way of life but also in professional knowledge. Prepare to learn new things.
Tell us what you like to do outside of work?
I love to film! I have a YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/@AnzonWongCOWBALL, for which I use my camera to record my everyday life. I enjoy capturing and planning the camera movement. Everything is just a storybook inside my head run a thousand times before I move my camera and press the shutter. I enjoy the process.
What do you like most about architecture in London? Do you have a favourite location?
I like the bridges in London. Millennium Bridge is my favourite! I love the bridge because it gives a strong sense of connection between people.
What would your colleagues find most surprising about you?
You should ask them. Hahaha.
Diploma in civil engineering.
Associate degree in architecture from City University of Hong Kong.
Bachelor’s degree in architecture from University of Greenwich.
Master of Architecture from The University of Hong Kong.
Joined first architectural practice in Hong Kong, as an assistant architect.
Worked as an architectural designer.
Progressed to the role of senior architect.
Moved to the UK and joined Hyphen.