Palmer & Turner, architectural firm in Hong Kong since 1868
Our recently posted article, Lt. Col. M.H. Logan connected to KCR, Logan and Amps, Palmer & Turner…, mentioned the company Palmer & Turner and I thought it might be of interest to learn more about the firm, now known as P&T Group. The following timeline comes from the company’s website.
The origins of P&T Group date back to 1868, with founder William Salway’s arrival in Hong Kong from Australia, to establish a design practice in response to the demand for grander buildings.
1868 William Salway established the company in Hong Kong.
1880s Beaconsfield Arcade was completed, Hong Kong’s first multi-storey shopping centre. Architect, Clement Palmer and structural engineer Arthur Turner joined the partnership.
1890s The company name changed to Palmer & Turner, the name remaining for nearly a century.
1920s The Shanghai office was opened. Saturation piling was introduced to allow buildings to rise above three storeys. The Hong Kong Shanghai Bank was completed on the famous Shanghai Bund. The Shanghai Customs Building was completed, establishing a distinctive “Shanghai Style”.
1930s Peace Hotel and the Bank of China were completed as iconic additions on Shanghai’s Bund. Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Headquarters was completed, being the first fully air-conditioned building in Hong Kong, and the tallest structure in South East Asia, at the time. India and Malaya offices were opened. Sultan of Johor’s Palace was completed. The Shanghai and other offices were closed due to World War II.
1940s The Hong Kong office was reopened after World War II. The iconic Jardine House was completed in Hong Kong.
1950s The new Chartered Bank and Bank of China buildings were completed, continuing the firm’s “Shanghai Style”. The grand Goodwood Park Hotel was completed in Singapore, reflecting a distinctive South East Asian tropical style.
1960s The Hilton Hotel, Choi Hung Housing Estate and AIA Building were completed in a modern style, the latter two winning the Hong Kong Institute of Architects award.
1970s The Connaught Centre (now known as Jardine House) was completed, Hong Kong’s first skyscraper, tallest building in Asia at the time and heralded the revitalization of the Central District. The Hong Kong Polytechnic University at Hung Hom was completed, the highest density campus in the world at that time. The Singapore office was opened.
1980s The company name changed to P&T Group, the name remaining to this day. Award-winning Exchange Square in Hong Kong’s Central District was completed. The Bangkok, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta offices were opened. Jinling Hotel and Bank Negara were completed, the tallest building in China and Indonesia respectively at the time.
1990s Hong Kong modern landmarks such as the new Standard Chartered Bank, Entertainment Building, Citic Tower and Central Tower were completed. China landmarks such as the Oriental Plaza in Beijing, Harbour Ring Plaza, Citic Square and Raffles City in Shanghai were also completed. Shanghai office was opened.
The firm achieved several ‘first’ in Asia Pacific region in the 90s including winner of the first Energy Efficient Building Award in Hong Kong, and the pioneer in the public housing using precast beam and precast façade in Singapore.
2000s Middle East and Vietnam offices and additional China offices were opened.
The firm global employees reach 1000 in 2007.
The firm continues its legacy and achieved major design and technological achievement. Our achievement are recognised by a number of ‘first’ in South East Asia Cities including first zero carbon project in Hong Kong, first steel volumetric precast and first concrete volumetric precast in Singapore; first biaxial voided slab in Hong Kong, first zero concreting building and first mass engineered timber building in Singapore.
2010s The desire for design innovation is the firm’s reputation since 1868 and is still enjoyed today. From the start of the millennium, P&T obtained over 260 awards in a total of 135 numbers of projects ranged from institutional, commercial to residential.
The firm obtained 6 BIM Awards in the Asia Pacific region.
The firm landmark building ‘Jardine House’ in Central, Hong Kong obtained an international award on the ‘Most influential Building in past 50 years’.
The Project ‘Skypark’ in Hong Kong obtained 11 numbers of local and international awards.
The firm celebrated the 150th Anniversary in Hong Kong Club, officiated by The Honorary Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
This article was first posted on 26th March 2025.
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