James Lawless

James Lawless

Shenzhen, CN



James Carson Lawless is an Associate, Project Manager, Design & Concept Leader with AECOM Architecture, China (Shenzhen). James has 25 years experience in Mixed-Use, Commercial, Hospitality & Resort, Multi-Family, and Residential Design. He has been responsible for Design Schematics & Process with Clients, coordination of Project Staff in preparation of Contract Documents, Quality Control & Construction Administration.

Prior to joining AECOM, James has 4 years experience in mainland China projects including Resort and Mixed-Use design in Shenyang, Benxi, Yingkou, Dalian, Hengyang, Shaoyang, Shaoqing, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Zhongshan, Xingguo, Shenzhen and Daya Bay. (incl. travel & ‘due diligence’ experience in Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Guilin, Yangshuo). 

Before working in China he gained experience on the East & West coasts of the United States (California, etc.) and Hawaii. With a background in U.S. & European style Architectural Design, he has adapted well to the Chinese style of design and methodology.

James is a diligent and thorough professional,demonstrating exceptional talent for creative design solutions and attention to detail. He is a team leader and collaborator, well organized, and thrives under adversity & time pressure. He works to assure the best design outcome aesthetically, economically, and sustainably for each client’s specific needs.

I have been residing and working in China since December of 2010.  I have worked in the NE cities of Shenyang, CN and Dalian, CN & currently in Shenzhen which is adjacent to Hong Kong.  I have completed designs for a 500 room 5-Star Hotel and renovations for a 29 Villa complex of historic Russian Homes.  I am looking for a possible return to the U.S. and/or combining Chinese experience and connections with the right opportunity, *having come to China primarily for economic conditions regarding global issues and China's building boom, and the experience that working in China provides.  I am a registered Architect in California, Georgia, and NCARB.  I look forward to hearing from you.


AECOM, Shenzhen, China, Senior Associate Architect

• Saba Bay Resort (Marriott) Luxury Resort, South coast of Bali, Indonesia. Project Designer, Manager (Project Director – Benjack Phillips). Client: Golden Nusatama Co. A prior resort site with complete demolition, updating and new layout. My involvement as part of team was design of wedding chapel, overview and design of guest blocks, lobby and entry, restaurant and tower, and radical pool bar. I completed designs and guided interns towards CAD production and 3D production. Style was predicated on Southeast Asian influence and tropical setting context.
• Visun Community & Resort Development Large scale Villa Community Haikou, Hainan Island, China. Project Designer, Manager (Project Director – Kan Zhongyan), Client: Visun Properties (Shenzhen and Sanya, China). I completed site planning, medium and large scale Villa designs, and Sales Center. Large Villas were of 3 context types; Palladian, Lattice Overlap, and Crescent Moon. Owner Lawrence Wang was extremely pleased with continued delivery of North American style design. I worked with Chinese interns and 3D department in SketchUp, CAD production, and rendering presentation. Site is completion of prior building phase including existing Villas and Resort Hotel. New design includes shopping street, office and hotel. Location of site is on east bank of Nandu River approx. 3 km Northwest of Haikou Airport. Travel to Project Site with client was included along with several coordination meetings in Visun’s Shenzhen Office.
• Bao’an Aiport Club & Marina Bao’an District of Shenzhen, China. Project Designer, Manager (Project Director – Kan Zhongyan), Client: Visun Properties (Shenzhen, China). I completed multiple designs for an Airport Club & Marina northwest of Shenzhen adjacent to the Shenzhen International Airport. The site location was at an existing sea wall and Ferry terminal along the Zhujiang River Estuary. The Club including site planning for parking, a park and flag courtyard entrance, and adjacent Boat Exposition Pavilion. Future plans included a Boutique Hotel and other site amenities. The first concept was a ‘Classical scheme with Contemporary’ juxtaposition, which included 3 arches from antiquity along a main approach road axis contrasting with an updated arch club building. The subsequent schemes were International Style with context from the Mies Barcelona Pavilion. The final scheme was International with contemporary elements; a flowing floor plan with visitor exhibition area, pools and fountains, crossing axis walks, and a rooftop boat allusion into waves at the porte-cochere. A viewing tower was also included along a marina wall. Travel to Project Site was completed along with coordination meetings with owner’s representative from Sanya Yacht Harbor on Hainan Island.
• Large scale Villa Community, Sanya Bay / Retail, Hospitality, Entertainment, Residential Complex Sanya, Hainan Island, China. Project Designer, Manager (Project Director - Kan Zhongyan). Client: Luneng Development Co., Inc. (Beijing). I completed site & landscape planning, medium and large Villa designs, Condominium Block, Health Complex, and Hotel design. I worked with Chinese interns in SketchUp modeling and CAD production, along with 3D presentation. Design was centered on a lagoon with ocean access and included bridge and shore development, retail street, multiple type Hotel placement, stadia for aquatic performances, wedding pavilion, etc. Location of site is 2 km west of Sanya Airport and ½ km north of southern shoreline. Travel to Project Site with client was included.
• Large scale Residential Community West coast of Macau peninsula on Huangmao River near Zhuhai, China. Project Designer, Manager (Project Director – Kan Zhongwyan). Client: Gang Zhong LV, China Travel Service HK. I completed site & landscape planning for small, medium, and large Villa designs and support infrastructure (Health Club facilities, Meeting Complex, Administrative, and 18-hole Golf Course). I worked with Chinese interns on Site Planning. This project was Phase II of prior construction which included Resort Hotel and detached Condominiums. Site is unique in that residential groupings occur on separate islands; i.e, a water and lagoon environment with bridges and lakes. Site is located along north-south coastline of Huangmao River. Travel to Project Site was included.
• Miscellaneous Completions I performed several Business Development duties such as exampled by travel to Meizhou to meet with clients (Ruixinhaide Group) regarding Community development. We performed a site tour of Phase I’s intended area development. I completed several Super Tall Building designs which were intended to show capability into that design type (400 to 600 meter high range).

Dec 2012 - current

HYN Architecture Design, Shenzhen, China, Shenzhen, CN, Project Director / Design & Concept Leader

• Shenzhen Mountain Villa Complex Luohu District. Project Designer. Client: Yuhu Group / Shenzhen Haibin House Property Co., Ltd.
I did site layout for a challenging mountain site northeast of Luohu’s central district. Site design included several nodes of development in valley and ridge settings. At Valley placed approach & gate entry, central Clubhouse, Village street, Retail Shopping walk, and Condominiums and Townhomes around lake setting. As site elevations climbed, ridges were optimum for upscale Villas and commanding views south towards Shenzhen Bay and Luohu.
• Shopping and Entertainment Center Shunde, China. Project Manager & Designer. Client: Guangdong Winnerway Real Estate Development Co., Ltd. I completed site design and multi-level design for Shopping mall of 140,000m2 on 52,000m2 site. Design had classical elements similar to Vittorio Emanuelle Galleria c. 1861 in Milan, Italy. The design included a stepped 5 level shopping experience centered around an Amphitheater, top-level sky club, and a bar street along an existing canal. Service was via a rear entry ramp to below-ground loading dock, along with below-ground parking.
• Castle Bay @ Daya Bay East of Shenzhen, China Design Manager / Project Director. Client: Shenzhen Castle Bay Group Co., Ltd. A 5-Star Resort Complex, this project was for an entire bay comprising coastline, island, and mountain sites; multiple nodes in a European Castle design, including a European style shopping village. I had design responsibility for 52,000m2 site design composition and building style @ 35,000m2 with Hakka, Kaiping Tower, and Great Wall historical design elements mixed in with Castle complex. There were also meeting Villas in “Arts and Crafts” style, restaurants, spa and pool areas, service areas, drive access, parking, pathways, landscape design (Dragon Garden), etc. I directed a staff of 5 interns from schematics to design presentation.
• 5-Star Hotel Design (JW Marriott) Shaoyang, China. Design Manager. Client: Shaoyang Xiangtai Real Estate Co., Ltd. Hotel was comprised of 440 keys within a 22,000m2 Tower with a Mixed-Use Base @ 30,000m2. A second tower in same style was for Office function @ 25,000m2. As one of several design schemes, client desired an updated Art-Deco style per context precedent in Shanghai’s historic district. Conference and Ballroom Facilities, 3 themed Restaurants, Nighclub (Karaoke) and Spa and Fitness Center. This project is located in an urban renewal area of Shaoyang, and included Residential Towers, Parks and Open Space.
• Office, Retail, Mult-Family Mixed-Use Zhongshan, China Design Manager. Client: Zhongshan Chang Real Estate Development Co., Ltd. I had design lead for an upscale Shopping Complex concept with interior mall street, office building, and residential towers @ 60,000m2. On a tight site I coordinated drive circulation, underground parking, service & loading areas, and pedestrian movement separating vehicular access. I completed landscape layout including park-like environment for 4 residential towers (features, pools, streams, fountains, etc.). The Office tower was of exceptional contemporary design juxtaposed over the multi-level shopping mall including shops, restaurants, theaters, etc.
• Entrepreneurial Development Center Ningbo, China Project Architect / Designer. Client: Henyep Group Hong Kong. This project was per site visit to Ningbo for a rapidly developing office and resort zone to include the Entrepreneurial Center and adjacent Villa complex @ 30,000m2. I coordinated design schemes for Developer and speculative Real Estate clients.

Dec 2011 - Nov 2012

SDCIC [Shenzhen based], Dalian, China, Dalian, CN, Project Designer - Architect

• “29 Villas of Dalian” Design Architect (Architectural, Landscape, and Interiors). Travel to ‘Project City’ of Dalian in NE China from Shenzhen. I had design responsibility for historic 19th century Russian Homes (279m2 to 465m2) into a restored state with 7-Star exclusive resort status. I completed interior renovation studies, site design, landscape & feature layout, service, drive and pathway access, etc. I coordinated design work and production drawings with 8 Chinese interns and Chief Design Officer Li Dong Sheng. This was a small, but exquisite period reproduction project creating a “jewel” resort in the city of Dalian, NE China.

Jun 2011 - Nov 2011

PacomAEC, L.L.C, Shenyang, China, Shenyang, CN, Project Architect / Project Manager

• 5-Star Hotel - 500 room (keys) Benxi, China. Chief Architect/Designer. Garden Villas, V.I.P. Villas, Hilltop Villas and Townhomes in new town of Benxi, China comprising 78,409m2 and Master Planning for surrounding Private Residential Properties (3 separate nodes) comprising 1,353,597m2.(334 acres). Work was in association with Luxun Academy of Fine Art and overall design of enlarged community (6,000,000m2 = 1,482 acres) including international town and shopping street, further themed residential development, hospital, school, services, etc.
• Residential Towers Complex Yingkou, China. Chief Architect for 160,000m2 site. Client: ‘JiaChen Group’ (Fortune 500 listed). Master planning and design for 22 – 30 story residential towers, research complex, chairman’s estate, townhomes, apartments, kindergarten, clubhouse, b-ball, tennis, landscaping, etc. within F.A.R. 400,000m2 allowable. Feng Shui principles were applied to design with north/south orientation and site consultation with Feng Shui expert, etc.

Dec 2010 - Jun 2011

U.S.A. Project Experience, Miscellaneous.....*see description, Project Architect / Manager

Architect / Consultant – San Francisco, CA July 2010 – November 2010
• International Design Group in Monterey, California
• Association with contractor J. Spaulding regarding 6 million USD tree house for Pixar executive / tree house is constructed from steel and concrete with faux leaves and bark by Disney consultant.
• Associated with San Francisco AIA in seeking bay area projects.
• Study of Greene & Greene Architects, Church of Christ Scientist by Bernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan Architecture in Berkeley, California.
• Renovation to Lotivio home expansion in Alameda, California.
• Design study for Joseph Kim residence in Berkeley, California.

Senior Project Manager / Consultant – Wayne Windham Assoc. & D.L. Ogden & Assoc., Hilton Head, SC January 2006 – June 2010
• Luxury Low Country style residences, light commercial projects in Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, South Carolina.
• Various residential project sites / resort islands within gated communities. All of these designs demonstrate a range of styles and very high quality, luxury design styles, variable design flexibility.
Lyall Estate Greek Revival classical.
Moulton Residence English Countryside Lodge style. Voted “Best in American Living Award – Las Vegas…2011”.
Agin Residence Low Country style. Beach forest setting and wrap-around veranda.
Bates Residence Low Country style. Completed design development drawings. Belfair Plantation 8000 sq.ft.
Voysey Residence Replication of a historical British Architect’s design style.
• Other projects included:
Oceanwalk Condominium Renovations (4 million).
Land Rover Dealership.
Theater-Retail-Office Mixed-use design.
Kobe Japanese Steakhouse Addition, Plantation Center Restaurant & Retail.

Project Architect / Consultant – J. Barron & Brad Smith, Honolulu, Hawaii May 2005 – December 2005
• Military and private sector projects.
• Traveled to Okinawa, Japan in conjunction with work on Kadena Air Base upgrades to military housing.
• North Shore Residence, Oahu / Vatistas.
• Kapolei Irish Pub.

Architect / Consultant – Johnson & Rosser, K. Huggins, & Wayne Windham Assoc., Hilton Head, SC January 2002 – April 2005
• Consultant with luxury residences in Hilton Head Island including Sea Pines, Port Royal, Wexford, and Spanish Wells, surrounding coastal areas including Kiawah Island,
• Adherence to coastal hurricane codes and local aesthetic standards for each plantation community.


Project Architect / Project Manager – Rabun, Hogan, Ota, Rache, Inc. (RHOR), Atlanta, GA August 1997 – December 2001
• Hospitality and Resort project experience. Project Manager for Windward Marriott (full-service hotel) - schematics thru construction documents and 2 year construction process as construction administrator; worked with owner, developer, engineering disciplines, consultants, and contractor.
• Project Architect for renovation of Holiday Inn to Crowne Plaza in Atlanta / Buckhead & Milan Restaurant.
• Design development for Marriott - Bridgewater, N.J. and Hilton Garden Inns. Project Mgmt. for Univeristy of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, Florida.

Architect – Consultant / Associative, Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, California February 1988 – February 1993
• Completed building designs through A.R.B. permitting process & coastal permit approval in an extreme politically and ecologically sensitive area within the jurisdictions of Big Sur, Carmel, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove, Monterey, and Salinas.
• Projects included residences – 6,000 to 10,000 sq.ft. and smaller scale (1,700 sq.ft.) utilizing T.J.I. and M.L. joist construction with adherence to California Energy Code requirements and earthquake resistant detailing. Work in conjunction with John Matthams International Design Group.
• Completed 15,000 sq.ft estate and site development for the Crown Prince of Tonga (H.R.H., South Pacific).
• Completed retail projects – L’Ambience (1,500 sq.ft.) / Del Monte shopping center, and Marco Polo’s Leather Shoppe (1,700 sq.ft.) / Carmel Plaza – Kazuhiro Kono, Owner.

Architect – Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart & Assoc., (SRSS), Atlanta, Georgia February 1981 – October 1985
• Large commercial projects including speculative office buildings, hotel and resort development.
• Ritz Carlton (22 story – 600 room unit hotel), Monarch Office Building complex – Atlanta, GA.
• Roswell Summit Phase 100 & 200 (60,000 sq.ft., 3 floors, Garcia’s Restaurant (15,000 sq.ft.) – Atlanta, GA.
• Hilton Hotel and Conference Center – Roswell, GA.

Jan 1981 - Nov 2010


Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), BArch, Architecture

Bachelor of Science, College of Architecture,…Member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity,…Dean’s List,….7-A’s on Terminal / Final Project; An Audio Visual Center for the Louvre / Paris.

Sep 1971 - Mar 1980

Southern Polytechnic University, Bachelors, Architectural Engineering Technology

Bachelor of Architectural Engineering Technology,…Honors: elected to Tau Alpha Pi National Honorary Engineering Society.

Sep 1976 - Jun 1978

University of California, Berkeley, Landscape Architecture & Art

summer coursework primarily field survey in landscape architecture under Professor Robert J. Tetlow, M.L.A.

Jun 1973 - Sep 1973

Areas of Specialization