Professor Patrick Lau studied Architecture at the University of Manitoba, where he was awarded numerous scholarships, including the Portland Cement Scholarship Study Programme at Fontainebleau France, and graduated with the Thesis Prize in 1969. After working as a design architect at Thompson Berwick & Pratt and as an urban designer at the Vancouver City Planning Department, he returned to Hong Kong to teach Architecture at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) from 1973 to 2004, where he was also Professor and Head of the Department of Architecture from 1996 to 2000. His design and research work has been widely published, including ‘Rural Architecture in Hong Kong’ (1979) – research done by him and his students that influenced the Hong Kong Government then to establish the Antiquities Advisory Board for the preservation of historical heritage.
Professor Lau is the Director of Design Consultants Limited and has won in a number of architectural competitions, including his winning design proposal for the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His completed works include the University of East Asia in Macau, French International School of Hong Kong, Hong Kong International School, West Island School, Australian International School Hong Kong, HKIEd Jockey Club Primary School, HKU SPACE Kowloon East Campus, IVE Shatin Learning Resources Centre and the Jockey Club Yan Hong Building in Yuen Long. These projects have received two Medals of the Year, a President’s Prize and four Merit Awards from the Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA). The Centre for the Blind in Sham Shui Po received the Most Accessible Building Award and Sam Tung Uk Museum received the PATA Heritage Gold Award, whereas the Hong Kong International School won the American Association of School Administrators/American Institute of Architects (AIA) Citation Award and its design was exhibited in San Francisco.
Professor Lau was also named among the Ten Outstanding Young Persons in 1984, received the Hong Kong Outstanding Architect-HKIA Godfrey Yeh Education Fund Award (1991), Artist of the Year Award (1999), HKIA Special Commendation (2012) and HKIA Gold Medal (2021). He has been honoured with the 2000 Silver Bauhinia Star for his distinguished community services and achievement in the field of architecture by the HKSAR Government, and appointed Justice of the Peace in 2004.
Professor Lau has been Member of the Legislative Council from 2004 to 2012; HKIA Fellow Member and Past President; Honorary University Fellow at HKU and the then Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK); Honorary Professor at HKU, HKU SPACE and Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong (THEi). He has also served as Member of the Housing Authority (and Chairman of its Tender Committee), Antiquities Advisory Board, Central Policy Unit, Vice Chairman of the Town Planning Board, Director of the Architecture Centre, Founding Chairman and Director of the Professional Green Building Council, Council Member of OUHK, Member of ICAC Operations Review Committee, Board Member of Ocean Park Corporation, Vice Chairman of the Architects Registration Board, among other significant roles.