A 2016 study by Hong Kong University assessing the value of Hong Kong’s creative industries estimated that the value of the architecture business had more than tripled between 2006 and 2016, from HK$3.5 billion (US$446 million) to nearly HK$12 billion, while the number of people employed in the sector had risen from 10,700 to 15,940.

A file photo of Central showing Connaught Centre (now called Jardine House), the tallest building in Hong Kong in the 1970s.
A file photo of Central showing Connaught Centre (now called Jardine House), the tallest building in Hong Kong in the 1970s. © SCMP - One of P&T Group’s most famous buildings, Jardine House, was not universally loved when completed in 1972. But it was the first building to connect Central with the waterfront thanks to its open plaza design and connecting walkways that bridged Connaught Road.
  • Some of the city’s prominent landmarks – Jardine House, Exchange Square and Pedder Building – have been designed by P&T Group, one of the world’s oldest architecture and engineering firms
  • Now the company is looking to the future and working on bringing new technology to the field of design and construction

It is one of the longest running and most successful companies in Hong Kong that you may have never heard of. That’s because P&T Group,one of the world’s oldest architecture and engineering firms, has traditionally maintained a low profile over its 151-year history.

Though the company has changed with the times, it also revels in its traditions. The company employed a platoon of tea ladies – women who pushed trolleys of hot beverages around the desks of P&T’s 700 Hong Kong-based employees.

“They would ask you what you want – coffee, tea or a mixture of coffee and tea – just like at a cha chaan teng [a Hong Kong-style restaurant],” said Janette Chan, group director of P&T Group and a 30-year veteran. “It’s something I really treasured.”

The tea ladies were finally discontinued two years ago when nobody could be found to replace them.

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