Travelling Full Circle

Richard Wood, architectural director at Ryder, reflects on his career so far, which saw him travel extensively around south east Asia before joining Ryder in Hong Kong.

It has been 27 years since first moving to Hong Kong from the UK as a young architect.  I initially worked with a UK based company in the territory, rapidly rising from site architect to director, thriving on exploring new pastures throughout Asia.

After seven years in Hong Kong, I spent the following decade designing 12 hospitals in India – my own practice joint ventured with numerous Delhi based architects – followed by a two year posting to Singapore to assist a local company to establish a specialist healthcare division.  Shortly after that, I found myself in a similar appointment in Bangkok to assist an Australian Thai based company to set up their healthcare specialisation before being enticed back to Hong Kong by an American company to support with major healthcare projects in China.

Having recently joined Ryder’s Hong Kong team and enjoying an extensive virtual onboarding program, I have discovered familiar ground.  Travelling full circle to an architectural practice with British heritage, instilling in me a sense of ‘Home’.

This revelation came about from a most unlikely source – an orientation session on the practice’s quality management systems!  A profound sense of familiarity in the intricacies of ISO9001 and 14001 that I had not realised I had missed through working in India, Singapore, Bangkok and with the Americans.  Strange but true!

To further compound this feeling of turning full circle, the team in Hong Kong has recently submitted two proposals – the expansion and refurbishment of two hospitals at Haven of Hope and Tseung Kwan O – which just happen to be the first two hospitals I built when I first arrived in Hong Kong all those years ago.  In this past year, a period where global travel has been severely restricted, I can happily reflect on this return journey I have taken throughout my career.  Serendipity?

Banner Image © tomterifx / Adobe Stock

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