Charles Walker Director B.E.S., B.Arch., MSc., D.I.C., CEng, MIStructE, ARB, RIBA
Profile Charles is a Board Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, leading one of the three design business units of the practice. With over 30 years of professional experience delivering exceptional projects worldwide, Charles is qualified as both a registered architect and a chartered structural engineer, bringing a unique perspective to ZHA’s work. Before joining ZHA, Charles worked at Ove Arup and Partners’ where he founded the Advanced Geometry Unit, having a key role in leading and building the units’ reputation for innovative design and engineering projects until 2007. He joined Zaha Hadid Architects later that year.
Education and Teaching Charles studied architecture at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada and then obtained a postgraduate degree in structural engineering studies in London at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine.
Charles led an intermediate teaching unit at the Architectural Association from 2003 to 2010, founding the annual pavilion programme. He was Visiting International Professor in Emerging Technologies at TU Munich in 2010, and served as Head of Programme in Architecture at the Royal College of Art in London from 2011 to 2014.
Project experience overview Charles oversees most of the practice’s work in China, as well as acting as project director for the Danjiang Bridge in Taiwan, government buildings in Algeria and Iraq, and Navi Mumbai International Airport in India.
Charles was recently the commercial project director – working alongside ZHA’s aviation leader Cristiano Ceccato – for the Beijing Daxing International Airport, which includes the Phase 1 terminal building and ground transportation centre, associated retail planning (in collaboration with Benoy) and interior design.
Charles is currently the project director for the multimodal Danjiang Bridge that spans the Tamsui River estuary in Taipei. This major infrastructure scheme will link four key highways in northern Taiwan, carrying an extension of the Danhai Light Rail Transportation system, thus connecting the town of Bali and the rapidly expanding Port of Taipei with the wider public rail network.
Charles has also been project director for the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre (KAPSARC) in Riyadh, leading the team and integrating sustainable technology to meet LEED Platinum certification. The 70,000m2 research facility provides office space for up to 350 researchers, conference facilities including a 1,500-seat exhibition hall, a 300-seat auditorium, an exhibition space and library.