Collective, Hong Kong and Spain: Wallpaper* Architects Directory 2023

With bases in Hong Kong and Spain, Collective joins the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2023, our annual round-up of exciting emerging architecture studios

hong kong apartment interior by Collective
Hong Kong apartment interior
(Image credit: Collective)

Collective is a young and dynamic architecture studio based in Hong Kong and Spain. The practice works on a wealth of art, commercial and residential projects, including this apartment in Hong Kong (above); the Art Collector's House; and exhibitions for M+ Museum and Taipei Art Biennial 2020. Now, Collective has joined the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2023, our annual round-up of exciting emerging architecture studios. 

Who: Collective

Collective was founded by architect Betty Ng in 2015 – Chi Yan Chan, Juan Minguez and Katja Lam have since joined her as co-directors. While the studio is 'globally oriented and strongly rooted in Asia', the team explains, it remains headquartered in two continents, with offices in both Hong Kong and Madrid. With the directors combining experience at some of the world's most influential practices, such as the studios of Pritzker Prize-winning architects Rem Koolhaas/OMA and Herzog & de Meuron, Collective has a truly international outlook and a range of projects under its belt.

model for the house of an art collector by Collective

Model for Art Collector's House

(Image credit: Collective)

'We love working in a diverse genre of international projects, to move away from the standards and routines. Every project becomes a new adventure that allows us to tackle new circumstances, offering us an opportunity to come out with new answers and design solutions. These fresh encounters and processes motivate us in design,' the architects say, explaining that their overall approach can be applied to schemes of any scale and type. '[We] practise architecture, interiors, urban design and exhibition design. Collective specialises in design as a methodology, not a style.'

ART_M+ Museum_Things, Spaces, Interactions_ East galleries Exhibition_Hong Kong

M+ Museum, 'Things, Spaces, Interactions' exhibition, East galleries

(Image credit: 1 km Studio Kevin Mak)

What: Hong Kong apartment, and more

With a background as diverse as Collective's, it's no surprise that the team can apply their varied skills to projects that span the residential, commercial and cultural realm with ease. Among their recent and current residential work is a Hong Kong apartment, a newly completed space defined by its sleek simplicity and soft, timber-clad interiors; and the ambitious Art Collector's House, one of the several ongoing standalone, single-family houses they have on their drawing boards. 

Meanwhile, Collective takes pride in its contributions to the cultural sector too, having already developed several schemes and concepts for high-profile, global institutions, despite the practice's young age. Among those, the M+ Museum's 'Things, Spaces, Interactions' exhibition in the destination's East galleries is an expansive showcase of some 500 examples of furniture, architecture, graphic arts, and other design objects, for which Collective designed the display. 

The office and exhibition gallery for Art Intelligence's global headquarters in Hong Kong is another project in the same field by the studio – it's a textured, minimalist, and highly functional space that blends simplicity with 21st-century technology and design solutions, fit for the art space's multi-layered uses. 

ART_M+ Museum_Things, Spaces, Interactions_ East galleries Exhibition_Hong Kong detail

M+ Museum, 'Things, Spaces, Interactions' exhibition, East galleries

(Image credit: 1 km Studio Kevin Mak)

Why: Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2023

Conceived in 2000 as an international index of emerging architectural talent, the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual listing of promising practices from across the globe. While always championing the best and most promising young studios, over the years, the project has showcased inspiring work with an emphasis on the residential realm. Now including more than 500 alumni, the Architects’ Directory is back for its 23rd edition. Join us as we launch this year’s survey – 20 young studios from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Congo, Ecuador, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mozambique, Pakistan, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK, the USA and Vietnam, with plenty of promise, ideas and exciting architecture.

ART_Taipei Biennial 2020_Taipei

Taipei Biennial 2020

(Image credit: YHLAA) 

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).