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Fei Xu

Fei Xu, Director, has extensive experience and expertise on a wide variety of projects around the world, including several in his native China. Fei approaches design through the holistic integration of sustainability, culture and program. His work has included a wide range of typologies, including office, institution, hospitality, commercial and mixed-use complexes.

Fei led the design for the 468m Chengdu Greenland Center, now under construction in Chengdu, Sichuan, which will be the southwestern China region’s tallest skyscraper when completed. Inspired from the local geography and culture, the tower design perfectly marries the architecture, structure and sustainability, creating a unique faceted crystalline that transforms the building into a dynamic light sculpture, integrating the dia-grid skeleton, one of the most efficient structure for a high-seismic area.

Fei’s other sustainable works include the award-winning Waldorf Astoria Hotel Beijing, a contemporary interpretation of Chinese traditional culture, featuring a unique bronze façade; Golden Cross Sky Ring in Beijing; Tianjin Vantone Center now under construction in Tianjin, China, as well as several designs for international projects, including the 110-story Meraas Tower, 1km tall tri-tower complex 1 Dubai, and the positive energy building Masdar Headquarters. Fei continues working on large scale complexes in China and the United States.

Prior to joining AS+GG in 2007, Fei was a Senior Designer at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, where he worked on a number of major projects in China, including the 100-story Zifeng Tower at Nanjing Greenland Financial Center; Pearl River Tower, a highly sustainable, 80-story tower in Guangzhou; and the Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza, a 90-story mixed-use tower, the tallest building of city Zhengzhou in the central convention district.


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Master of Architecture, 2004
Southeast University, Nanjing, China, Bachelor of Architecture, 2001

Professional Registrations + Affiliations

Licensed Architect in Illinois
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP)
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)

Presentations + Publications

Exhibit: “Ten Tops,” Skyscraper Museum Exhibition, March - September, 2015
Exhibit:  “Boom Town,” Chicago Architecture Foundation, Masdar Headquarters, Chicago, IL, September-November 2008
Exhibit: “Sustainable Architecture in Chicago: Works in Progress,” MCA Chicago, Pearl River Tower, 9 September 2006 - January 7, 2007
The Analysis of Modern Architecture in Europe II, III, Feng JL, Fei Xu, et al., Jiangsu Scientific Technology Publication, Nanjing
Structural Transformation, Herbert Kramel, Fei Xu, et al., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland

Awards + Honors

AIA Chicago, Divine Detail Award, Waldorf Astoria Beijing Bronze Facade, 2017
LEAF Awards, Hospitality Building of the Year, Waldorf Astoria Beijing, 2016
The Chicago Athenaeum, International Architecture Award, Waldorf Astoria Beijing, 2016
Architizer A+ Awards, Plus Categories, Details: Architecture +Metal, Finalist, Waldorf Astoria Beijing, 2016
The Chicago Athenaeum, International Architecture Award, Greenland Tower Chengdu, 2016
Chicago AIA, Distinguished Building Award, Citation of Merit, Waldorf Astoria Beijing, 2015
The Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award, Waldorf Astoria Beijing, 2015
HD Awards, Winner, Hotel Luxury/Upscale, Waldorf Astoria Beijing, 2015
Civic Trust Awards, Civic Trust Award, Waldorf Astoria Beijing, 2015
Architizer A+ Award, Unbuilt Category, Architecture + Technology, Finalist, Chengdu Greenland Tower, 2014
Architizer A+ Award, Office Building High Rise, Finalist, Pearl River Tower, 2014 (while Senior Designer at SOM)
The Chicago Athenaeum, Green Good Design Award, Green Architecture, Pearl River Tower, 2014 (while Senior Designer at SOM)
Commercial High-Rise Architecture, China International Property Awards, Pearl River Tower, 2014 (while Senior Designer at SOM)
The Chicago Athenaeum, American Architecture Award, KAPSARC, 2012
The Chicago Athenaeum, International Architecture Award, Gold Cross Sky Ring, 2011
Chicago AIA, Unbuilt Design, Honor Award, KAPSARC, 2011
The Chicago Athenaeum, Green Good Design Award, Pearl River Tower, 2010 (while Senior Designer at SOM)
International Property Awards, Arabian Property Award for Architecture, Middle East Region, Masdar Headquarters, 2010
Construction Week Awards, Sustainable Design Award, Masdar Headquarters, 2008
Middle East Architect Awards, Green Project of the Year, Masdar Headquarters, 2008
Cityscape Architectural Awards, Environmental Award, Masdar Headquarters, 2008
Spark Awards, Green, Carbon-Lowering & Environmental Category, Gold Award, Pearl River Tower, 2008 (while Senior Designer at SOM)
University of Illinois, Gerald K. Slawin Awards, Design Construction Integration, 2004

Major projects at Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture:

Greenland Tower Chengdu
468-meter, mixed-use tower features a offices, a hotel, executive residential apartments and conference center. Chengdu, China

Waldorf Astoria Beijing
Luxury hotel project located in the heart of downtown Beijing, China. Bronze exterior reflects the character of the site, and the super frame recalls the symmetry and  steady character of Chinese traditional architecture. Beijing, China

Vantone Center Tianjin
185-meter tower consists of 64,000 square-meters of above-grade Class A office and high-end retail space, along with an additional 30,000 square meters of below-grade retail and parking. Also features a 27 meter-tall private club for building tenants at its top. Tianjin, China

360 m and 240 m twin towers inspired by the sun halo. Elegant elliptical form and unique halo fin design catch the sun movement, and create a sky garden amenity. Feature restores solar energy and transforms the building into a 24 hour light sculpture. Beijing, China

Golden Cross Sky Bridge
Proposed urban pedestrian link to allow the elevated pedestrian circulation over the Golden Cross intersection. The Sky Ring opens to the ground and connects to the subway underground through four vertical cores to the existing subway exits. Beijing, China

Yixing Dongju Far East Development
Master planning and architectural design for 5,200,00 sf (484,455 sm) development consisting of two towers, a mixed-use office and hotel tower and a neighboring residential tower. Intersecting buildings create a central park space, which can convert to a dramatic theater space. Yixing, China

KAPSARC Competition Entry
Competition entry for research facility for major international corporation’s headquarters. The design was developed specifically for extreme weather conditions and features a high-performance, lightweight ETFE skin, intelligent cladding to respond to solar radiation and wind, and the incorporation of a building-integrated photovoltaic system. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Kuwait University Master Plan Competition Entry
Master planning competition entry for university’s central administration facilities complex which includes administration building, conference center, convocation hall, cultural center, library, visitor center and grand mosque. Shadadiyah, Kuwait

Meraas Tower
Supertall mixed-use tower with faceted facade. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

1 Dubai
Three-tower, supertall mega-structure includes luxury hotels, condominiums, offices, retail and cultural facilities. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Masdar HQ Development
Positive Energy building (generating more energy than it consumes) in zero carbon, zero waste city outside of Abu Dhabi. Project includes office, retail, transit circulation and incorporates landscaped green space. Masdar City at Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Suzhou Industrial Park East Landmark Tower
Competition entry for mixed-use highrise tower. Suzhou, China

ICT Tower
Competition entry for mixed-use highrise tower. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Willis Tower Greening Project + Hotel
Integration of sustainable systems to reduce energy consumption at the former Sears tower and design for highly sustainable, 50-story five-star hotel to be built on the south side of Willis Tower plaza. The hotel will draw net zero energy from the power grid. Chicago, Illinois

Proposed 2-mile breakwater, completing the last major recommendation of the 1909 Burnham Plan. The bridge, which includes wind turbines, provides a grand civic space and includes a soft shoreline for the study of Great Lakes ecology. Chicago, Illinois

For SOM:

Zhengzhou Convention Hotel
90-story mixed-use highrise tower. Zhengzhou, China, 2007

Pearl River Tower
Architecture for the 69-story China National Tobacco Corporation headquarters. This 2,243,100 sf building proposes to be the first supertall tower to attempt to produce as much, or more, energy than it consumes. Every aspect of the 303-meter tower is designed to harvest wind and solar energy. Guangzhou, China, 2009

King Abdullah Stadium

400 S. Jefferson residential development
Chicago, Illinois, 2006

Shanghai Grand
Design services for office building in Pudong district, 80,000 sm above grade, 20,000 sm below grade. Shanghai, China, 2006

Great China Tower
Proposed 100-story mixed-use tower. Shenzheng, China, 2005

Beijing Hotel Expansion
Proposed 5-Star Hotel and Luxury Residential Development. Beijing, China, 2005

Nanjing Greenland A1 Tower
100-story mixed-use high-rise tower. Nanjing, China, 2005

Proposed Dubai World Trade Center Expansion
Master Plan. Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2004

University Club Tower
38-story residential tower. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 2004

University North Carolina Research Center Expansion
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 2004

For Huasen Architecture & Engineering Design Consultants:

Da Hua Commercial Center
60-story mixed-use tower. Hangzhou, China, 2001

VANKE Da MeiSha Mountain Residential
Master Plan. Shenzheng, China, 2002

Kunshan Palace Residence
Residential development. Kunshan, China, 2002

Sun & Golf Tower
60-story mixed-use tower. Shenzheng, China, 2001

For Zhuhai Architecture Design Institute
Memorial Sculpture Square for Wanshan Sea Battle, Winner of Competition, landscape and public plaza. Zhuhai, China, 2000

Fei Xu on

I'm drawn to it because of my interest in painting. My earliest Chinese ink painting I can find was done when I was 6. Painting is a process of re-creation of the existing. I like to create something special.

where he finds inspiration
From existing and not existing: nature, culture and life experience—the way people used to live, would like to live, and are not able to live.

his favorite "moment" in architecture
When space is built, to see it creates new life for people. Space and people become alive because of each other.

his favorite city architecturally

his favorite thing about a collaborative design process
Architecture is communication.

his biggest accomplishment at AS+GG
To know what I believe. If I know what I believe, I will be fine for everything.

what he'd be if he weren't an architect
A painter or sculptor.

what he does when he's not designing
Sleeping. Life is a design.