Charles’ projects vary from opera houses to museums to trade centers. Some of his famous designs include King Abdulla Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; China World Trade Center Tower III (330m) in Beijing, China; Saint Petersburg Modern Art Museum and Opera House; Beijing Financial Street; and, of course, the highest soon-to-be-built skyscraper in Europe, Okhta Centre (including the 403-meter high tower and concert hall) in St Petersburg, Russia, for which he was the Chief Design Architect.
|Okhta Centre Concert Hall|
|St Petersburg Modern Art Museum|
|China World Trade Centre|
|Beijing Finance Street Offices and Theatre|
Equipped with top-tier college degrees, Charles began his professional career. He worked for architectural firms in Boston and in San-Francisco for several years. He felt he acquired enough experience to start his own business, and he moved to Hong Kong, China to start his own company. Coincidentally Charles was offered a position at RMJM Asia in Hong Kong as Chief Designer and after completing a few prominent projects in China and India. Charles moved to London to continue growing his own business and also to continue working on projects with RMJM. “UK was my dream land…London is so culturally rich and very open-minded,” Charles told me.
|State Tax Bureau|
1. Work really hard. By working hard Charles means spend more time than an average person on what you are doing; learn as much as you can about your profession. Charles said he missed a lot of opportunities to have fun while he worked and studied, but it was a conscious sacrifice.
2. Be open-minded. Be open to anything. Learn to be a good listener and learn from the experts. Absorb as a sponge the wisdom of others.
3. At the same time, be authentic. Charles said he stopped reading architecture magazines since his mid-twenties because he didn’t want to get too much influence. Charles gains his inspiration from observing people, learning about the history and even sometimes looking at ugly buildings.
4. Finally, don’t pound on the door or push too hard when you don’t get the results you are looking for. Maybe, it is not the right time yet or you are not ready yet. The door will eventually open and you will meet the right people when you are guided by your passion. Just keep doing what you love doing, and the success will follow.
At the end, Charles added, “Culture and humanity is usually the key for a good design and anything we do today. I think it's a pity that it is what's missing in most of things around us nowadays. I always believe in that.”