A Hong Kong architecture firm shows how its done after 150 years in the business

By Ryan Swift / https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/3009723/hong-kong-architecture-firm-shows-how-its-done-after-150-years?utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=contentexchange&utm_source=EdgeProp | May 14, 2019 10:48 AM SGT
It is one of the longest running and most successful companies in Hong Kong that you may have never heard of. That's because P&T Group,one of the world's oldest architecture and engineering firms, has traditionally maintained a low profile over its 151-year history.
Though the company has changed with the times, it also revels in its traditions. The company employed a platoon of tea ladies " women who pushed trolleys of hot beverages around the desks of P&T's 700 Hong Kong-based employees.
"They would ask you what you want " coffee, tea or a mixture of coffee and tea " just like at a cha chaan teng [a Hong Kong-style restaurant]," said Janette Chan, group director of P&T Group and a 30-year veteran. "It's something I really treasured."
The tea ladies were finally discontinued two years ago when nobody could be found to replace them.
Jardine House, completed in 1972, is one of P&T Group's most famous buildings. Photo: SCMP
When the company moved its offices from Prince's Building in Central to OTB Building in Wan Chai in 1978, the senior partners were concerned about getting back and forth to Central to see clients. According to retired P&T director Nick Burns, the company bought a Red London Taxi and had it shipped to Hong Kong, to serve as the dedicated shuttle for partners. After years of refits and repairs, the taxi was finally retired three years ago.
The tea ladies and the taxi may have gone, but work goes on at the firm that was responsible for most of the major landmarks in Central right from Hong Kong's colonial past to this day.
One of P&T Group's most famous buildings, Jardine House, was not universally loved when completed in 1972. But it was the first building to connect Central with the waterfront thanks to its open plaza design and connecting walkways that bridged Connaught Road.