Ms Anna Liu 劉安娜女士


Date 23 January 2015 Interviewed by David Hawkins 
Language English Audio Edited by Sherri Wong
Venue Tonkin Liu Architects, London    

Anna Liu came to the UK as an architect in 1998 at the age of 32. She married Mike Tonkin and then settled in London. They have a son named Tainan Tonkin, named after Anna's birthplace in Taiwan. Anna met Mike in Hong Kong where they both worked as architects, finding a common interest in patterns of nature and of human nature, an area they would subsequently explore as Unit Masters at the AA School of Architecture for four years.

Anna's architectural experience has encompassed work for practices in the US, Japan, and the UK. Having previously worked for Arup Associates in Hong Kong and in London, Anna became a qualified architect in the UK in 2002, establishing Tonkin Liu architects with Mike Tonkin in the same year. The practice has won six RIBA Awards since 2003, placing it as one of Britain's top 25 architectural practices.

Anna is a Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts (2010), member of the RIBA and ARB since 2002, and has acted as a juror for the RIBA Awards, RIBA Sustainability by Design Award, and the RIBA President's Medals. Her architectural academic experience includes one year at the North London University (now London Met), four years at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, as well as giving lectures in numerous architectural universities in Taiwan. She is currently conducting a Masters in Architecture Design Studio at the University of Westminster.

The question of being a contemporary Chinese person has always been a preoccupation of Anna's, especially as she has witnessed the dramatic recent rise of China preceded by a challenging history of modernisation. After she moved to the US at the young age of 12, Anna's love of the Chinese language has sustained her connection to Chinese culture, and to this day continues to enrich her sense of identity as a Chinese person living in a global environment.