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Fei Xu

AS+GG Director, Fei Xu, AIA, LEED AP, has extensive experience and expertise on a wide variety of projects around the world. Fei approaches design through the holistic integration of context, function, and technology. He believes architectural sustainability is achieved through a combination of building performance, environmental resilience, and significant cultural adaptability.

As Senior Designer for the 468-meter Chengdu Greenland Center, Fei was inspired by the local mountainous geography. By merging the architecture, structure, and sustainability, the tower is transformed into a dynamic light sculpture with a unique faceted crystalline facade that is self-shading, energy efficient, superior in aerodynamic, and optimum in structure with diagrid skeletons. Row under construction, it will become one of the tallest skyscrapers in southwestern China when completed.

Fei translates Yangtze River’s fluid movement and energy of the local lifestyle as the Senior Designer for Runmao Tower, a 498-meter supertall tower now under construction on Nanjing’s new waterfront CBD. The building’s dynamic expression includes an atrium at the tower’s top with an immersive program and a magnificent 360-degree cantilevered outdoor glass floor observatory showcasing the significance of the new experience above the cloud.

Fei’s previously was the Senior Designer for works including the award-winning Waldorf Astoria Beijing, a contemporary luxury hotel to interpret Chinese traditional culture through its unique bronze façade; Tencent Music Entertainment Headquarters in Shenzhen, now under construction, offering musical experience and active urban integration; Shimao Hong Kong - Shenzhen Center, a 500-meter tower and master plan under development; and Tianjin Vantone Center, a 185-meter office featuring a high-performance exterior wall. He also contributed to several other major international projects including the design of the 110-story Meraas Tower in Dubai; Masdar Headquarters, the positive energy building in Abu Dhabi; 160 Front Street, a newly opened office with tower with a unique skyline profile in downtown Toronto; and a confidential still under development high-rise residential and hotel project in 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, including Pearl River Tower, a highly sustainable, 80-story headquarters in Guangzhou; the 100-story Zifeng Tower at Nanjing Greenland Financial Center; and the Zhengzhou Greenland Plaza, a 90-story mixed-use tower, which is the tallest building in central convention district of Zhengzhou.


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:

Xiamen Oceanfront Center for Global Competition
The master plan addresses 600 ha of land and 7 million m2 of buildings organized to maximize the value of the oceanfront location and to elevate the visitor and athlete experience. A major sports complex and convention center anchor the waterfront with an entertainment and transit hub located in the center to provide high levels of commuter access and activity during event and non-event days throughout the year. Xiamen, China

Al Wasl Plaza
Centerpiece for Expo2020 combines breathtaking design, innovative technology, and an intricate domed trellis incorporating a huge immersive projection experience. After the Expo completes in 2021, the surrounding 10-13 story buildings will be converted into hotels and other commercial uses, complementing the entire mixed-use legacy of the site. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Shenzhen-Hong Kong International Center (Shimao Tower)
New tower at the center of AS+GG’s Shimao Shenzhen Longgang Master Plan is the main focal point for the development’s office and apartment buildings. At approximately 700 meters in height, the tower will be a visual, sound, and light show, reinforcing the district’s athletic and entertainment functions. The tower’s top has one of the world’s highest observation experiences and additional club facilities that include a restaurant, a night club, spa services, and a grand swimming pool, all with views of the city. Shenzhen, China

South HeXi Yuzui Tower (Runmao Tower)
500m supertall tower and retail podium. The tower will be one of the tallest in Nanjing and will feature a magnificent 360° open-air observatory at the tower’s top that will be one of the highest in the world. It will also be one of the tallest buildings to achieve LEED Gold certification when completed in 2025. Nanjing, China

Golden Bridge Twin Towers
Twin office towers at 200-meters and 180-meters tall were designed to be technologically innova-tive, interactive, resilient, and sustainable. The towers use multiple strategies for increased sus-tainability including high-performance façade with solar heat gain reduction, roof PV renewable energy generation, 60% water reduction, waste, and embodied carbon reduction, improved indoor quality with view, daylighting, and natural ventilation, on demand interactive office intelligent con-trol, as well as access to the green and open space. Shenzhen, China

Tribune Tower East
Residential mixed-use project includes 200 hotel rooms, 125 condo units, and 439 rental units. Vehicle and pedestrian entries at multiple street levels are organized for specified pickup and drop off areas for tenants, visitors, rideshare services, and commercial vehicles. Chicago, Illinois

New Development Bank
Design for new headquarters building that will set new standards for commercial buildings. Designed to be the first bank building in the world to be net-zero carbon and net-zero water during construction and operations. It will provide the highest quality of indoor environment and lifestyle experience and will be certified under the USGBC’s LEED rating scheme as LEED Platinum. Shanghai, China

Wuhan Erqi Qiaotou District
Development plan for the 90 acre Hankou Riverfront Erqi Business District, located between the First and Second Ring Roads, fronting the Yangtze River. Goals included expanding opportunities for office, residential, and complementary uses, as well as increasing green space, balancing biodiversity, and reducing energy demand and carbon emissions. Wuhan, China

Pacific Park Master Plan
The master plan seeks to improve the borough by reconnecting neighborhoods that have long been divided by the LIRR corridor via a dynamic, mixed-use environment with high-quality housing, green space, retail, and entertainment attractions. Brooklyn, New York

Central Park Tower
Tallest residential building in the world includes a podium with Nordstrom’s new seven-story flagship store. Top floors of the residences feature stunning city and park views. New York, New York

160 Front Street
1,215,000 sf office tower in the heart of Toronto’s business district features a rooftop winter garden with 360-degree views of the city. Designed to meet LEED Platinum certification. Toronto, Ontario

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.