Monday, 09 December 2019
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A Filipino Architectural Designer Shines in Hong Kong

Written by Posted On Sunday, 01 December 2019 21:49


In Photo: The City of Arabia is one of Ronald Gabriel’s most prestigious and highly-acclaimed projects as an architectural designer.

By Homer Nievera | On a recent trip to Hong Kong, I was able to meet up and interview Filipino architectural designer Ronald Gabriel. He, like many architects from the Philippines, has been shining in countries they work in. Here is his story.

After finishing his BS Architecture from the Mapua Institute of Technology in 1986, Gabriel passed the Philippine Board in 1990. His first job was at RR Payumo & Partners where he started as a draftsman. In 1992, he moved to Hong Kong and worked at Hsin Yieh Architects & Engineers.

“My first few years in Hong Kong was challenging,” he said.

“Like any OFW with a family back in the Philippines, the struggle was beyond the long hours or the language barrier. You can adjust to those in time. But the longing for your family was always there. I had two young girls whom I left with my wife in the Philippines. That was hard,” Gabriel intimated.

Focusing on establishing himself well-enough so he can petition his family to join him in Hong Kong, Ronald Gabriel moved to Ronald Lu & Partners in 1995 where he says he gained a lot of experience in architectural and interior design, rendering, and design development.

At Palmer and Turner Architects and Engineers Ltd., Gabriel was exposed to working with master architects and planners such as Architect Bing Kwan and Architect William Yuen from 2000 to 2006. This was the year when his designs first gained recognition in various award-giving institutions. By this time, his family had joined him 5 years earlier, and everything was smooth.

Gabriel took on a brief gig in the United States with Bassenion Lagoni Architects from late 2008 to early 2009. The financial crisis in the U.S. was at its peak when he decided to go back to Hong Kong and re-establish his career there.

“When we were in the U.S., my family experienced a different lifestyle. My kids liked it so much that by the time they finished their secondary school in Hong Kong, they decided to continue their studies and careers in the U.S. where they are now based,” said Gabriel.

Back in Hong Kong from the U.S., Ronald Gabriel's stints at Wong & Ouyang Architects & Engineers from 2006 to 2008 and again from 2009 to 2016, allowed him to grow his experience in architectural and interior 3D renderings.

His gig at Leigh & Orange in early 2018 brought him key experiences in shopping mall projects, mix-use, and transit-oriented development. Here, his skills in 3D renderings were enhanced with Lumion, Advanced Photoshop and Sketch-up.

By late 2018, Gabriel's return engagement with Palmer and Turner allowed him to further his skills. These, he said, were in architectural and interior design, presentation and detailed design development of residential, commercial and institutional projects across Asia.

Over the years, Ronald Gabriel was able to establish a successful career as an architectural designer for low-rise and high-rise residential development, retail malls, mixed-use townships, hospitals, and school buildings. Gabriel's projects were from architectural and interior conceptualization, schematic design, and design development, detail design, and planning, detail construction document preparation to site management.

As an Architectural Designer, Gabriel was part of teams in award-winning design projects such as:

#1 Shanghai One Corporate Avenue, Shanghai



Shanghai One Corporate Avenue, China

  • The First Honor, Shanghai Municipal Design Award (2008)
  • Magnolia Excellent Building Award, Shanghai Government, PRC (2006)

#2 Modrenagh, Hong Kong



Modrenagh, Hong Kong

  • Asia Pacific Property Awards - Best Architecture (Multiple Units) (2009)
  • Asia Pacific Property Awards - The First Honour (Residential Category (2007)

#3 Hong Kong University - The Centennial Campus and University, Hong Kong



HKU Centennial Campus, Hong Kong

  • LEED Platinum Certification

Today, the highly-acclaimed Filipino Architectural Designer is poised to scale bigger heights. He set his sights on more exciting projects that will further expand his horizons. Gabriel is prospecting for maverick firms that will flex his talents as an architect and designer who can do end-to-end project development and management.

Gabriel said that he is really proud of being a Filipino architectural designer competing with talents in Hong Kong and elsewhere.

He ends the interview by saying, “I may have found a home in Hong Kong, but my heart will always be Pinoy.”


Listing Additional Info

  • State: Alabama
  • Address: alabama
  • City: alabama
  • Zipcode: 900001
  • SOLD: no
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