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School of Architecture, CUHK
CHEN, Nelson

Prof. CHEN, Nelson (陳丙驊)

Honorary Professor

MArch (Dist) (Harvard)
BA (Hons) (Harvard)
FAIA FRIBA FHKIA HKICON
AP (Architect) HKSAR
Reg Arch (HK) ARBHK
Reg Arch (US) NCARB

nchen@cuhk.edu.hk

Introduction

Prof. Nelson Chen has served at CUHK since 1992 in several teaching and advisory positions: visiting lecturer and design critic; adjunct professor; honorary professor and external examiner; and most recently as Director of the School of Architecture (2015-19). Currently, he holds CUHK appointments as University Honorary Architect and member of the Board of Overseers at Morningside College.

Professor Chen has practiced architecture for over 40 years, originally in the US and, since 1987, as Principal Architect of Nelson Chen Architects Ltd in Hong Kong. Born in New York, he was educated at Harvard, where he received the BA degree summa cum laude and MArch degree with the AIA School Medal as first-ranked architectural graduate. Other academic prizes include Phi Beta Kappa, Wheelwright Travelling Fellowship and Knox Fellowship for postgraduate study at Cambridge, among others.

Professional work has been recognized by over 35 major design awards including AIA honor and merit awards, HKIA design awards including the HKIA President’s Prize, IFRAA Religious Architecture Award, UNESCO Heritage Conservation Award, and Artist of the Year Award in Architecture from Hong Kong Artists Guild. Under his design leadership, Nelson Chen Architects Ltd received the AIA Hong Kong Architecture Firm Award in recognition of “overall design achievement that exemplifies the highest standards of the architectural profession.”

His design work was published in the monograph Nelson Chen Architects – Context and Community (Watermark Publications, UK). Prof Chen is a Fellow of the AIA, RIBA and HKIA, as well as founding president of the AIA Hong Kong Chapter in 1997 and recipient of its Distinguished Service Award.

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Research Interests

  • Architectural Design and Practice
  • Educational Buildings
  • Religious Buildings
  • Heritage Conservation Design

Advised Theses

TANG Wan Ting, Wendy, “Homo Civilis Hong Kong: Liminality in Time and Space, 1997-2047,” 2018-19 (HKIA CADSA Award 2019)

WONG Chun Long, Ringo, “Vertical Communities: Preserving Neighbourhoods in High-Rise Developments,” 2018-19

KWOK Nga Lam, Karen, “Inhabitable Infrastructure: Connection between Commuters and Community,” 2017-18 (A&D Trophy Award 2018)

LEONG On U, Derrick, “Crossing the Thames Barrier: Adaptive Reuse of Existing Infrastructure under Climate Change,” 2017-18 (Best Thesis Project Award, A&D Trophy Award 2018)

LAM Kin Kwan, Kenji, “LABrary – Future Libraries in the Digital Age as Incubators for Innovation,” 2016-17 (Best Thesis Project Award, IEAGD Award 2017)

KWAN Siu Wa, Edwin, “Star Ferry Piers 2.0: Revitalizing the Waterfront for Public Engagement,” 2015‑16

CHEUNG Hiu Hei, Jonny, “Alternative Medicine for High-Rise Hospitals in Hong Kong,” 2014‑15

LAU Pui Yin, Jim, “Hong Kong Hegemony – Reclaiming Central: Wealth Gap in Society Reflected in the Urban Built Form,” 2014-15 (Best Thesis Project Award)

Honours and Recognitions

HKIA Merit Award, Community Building (2018) for St Andrew’s Church Life Centre

HKIA CADA Nominated Award (2017) for St Andrew’s Church Life Centre

A&D Trophy Award, Certificate of Excellence (2017) for St Andrew’s Church Life Centre

AIA Honor Award, International Region (2016) for St. Andrew’s Church Life Centre

AIA Honor Award, HK Chapter (2015) for St. Andrew’s Church Life Centre

AIA Merit Award, HK Chapter (2011) for St. Andrew’s Church Life Centre

AIA Sustainable Design Award (2010) for Hong Kong International School Annex

AIA Merit Award, HK Chapter (2010) for Hong Kong International School Annex

Quality Building Award, Certificate of Finalist (2010) for Hong Kong International School

AIA Citation Award, Northwest & Pacific Region (2009) for Hong Kong International School

AIA Merit Award, HK Chapter (2009) for CY Tung Maritime Museum

AIA Merit Award, HK Chapter (2007) for Hong Kong International School

AIA Merit Award, HK Chapter (2007) for Mainetti China Industrial Park

UNESCO Heritage Conservation Award of Merit (2006) for St. Andrew’s Church

HKIA Architectural Award for Heritage (2006) for St. Andrew’s Church

HKIA Architectural Award for Heritage (2005) for Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre

HKIA President’s Prize (2003) for Fairview Park Alliance Church

HKIA Design Award for Works Outside of Hong Kong (2003) for CY Tung Maritime Museum

AIA Honor Award, Northwest & Pacific Region (2003) for Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre

IFRAA Religious Art & Architecture Award (2002) for Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre

AIA Merit Award, HK Chapter (2001) for University of Hong Kong Art Gallery

AIA Honor Award, HK Chapter (2000) for Suzhou Garden Villas

AIA Merit Award, HK Chapter (2000) for Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre

AIA Merit Award, Northwest & Pacific Region (1999) for Hong Lok Yuen International School

AIA Merit Award, Northwest & Pacific Region (1999) for Lafe Industrial Park

AIA Honor Award, HK Chapter (1999) for Meetinghouse Chapel

AIA Merit Award, HK Chapter (1999) for St. Andrew’s Church

AIA Honor Award, HK Chapter (1998) for Hong Lok Yuen International School

AIA Honor Award, HK Chapter (1998) for Lafe Industrial Park

AIA Honor Award, HK Chapter (1998) for Chiu Yang Court

AIA Merit Award, HK Chapter (1998) for KMB Office Headquarters

AIA Merit Award, HK Chapter (1998) for Mandarin Oriental Fine Arts Gallery

Pacific Coast Builders Gold Nugget Grand Award (1992) for Fairview Park

Dupont Antron Design Award (1988) for Alisan Fine Arts Gallery

Dupont Antron Design Award (1987) for Hong Lok Yuen Estates Office

AIA Distinguished Service Award, HK Chapter (2007)

AIA Architecture Firm Award, HK Chapter (1999)

Artist of the Year Award in Architecture, HK Artists Guild (1999)

AIA School Medal, Harvard Graduate School of Design (1978)

Fellow, American Institute of Architects

Fellow, Royal Institute of British Architects

Fellow, Hong Kong Institute of Architects

Honorary Appointments

University Honorary Architect, CUHK (2019-date)

Member, Building Committee for Medical Centre Development, CUHK (2014-date)

Member, Campus Planning Committee, CUHK (2014-19)

Member, Campus Sustainability Committee, CUHK (2015-19)

Member, Board of Overseers, Morningside College, CUHK (2019-date)

Fellow, Morningside College, CUHK (2016-19)

Member, Board of Educational Affairs, HKIA (1995-2004, 2014-19)

Member, Nominating Committee, AIA HK Chapter (1998-2006, 2009-date)

Member, Technical Committee on Building Safety and Health Requirements for Historic Buildings, Buildings Department, HKSAR Government (2015-18)

Member, Dean’s Advisory Council, Harvard GSD (2010-12)

Member, Visiting Committee, Harvard GSD (1992-2004)

Member, St. Andrew’s Church Council (2004-08)

Founding President, American Institute of Architects, HK Chapter (1997-98)

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