A graduate of the Architectural Association (AA) in London, Kay Ngee possesses a distinguished career with notable achievements. He was the winner of the RIBA Students Competition in 1985, received the London Royal Academy Young Designer Award in 1987. After graduation, he worked for Arup Associates in London from 1984 to 1990, taught at the Bartlett, UCL from 1990 to 1993.
In 1990, he founded Kay Ngee Tan Architects in London. Subsequently established offices in Singapore, and Istanbul. He was listed as one of the “581 World Architects” by MA Gallery Tokyo in 1996.
Kay Ngee has been involved in a variety of design projects, including theatre set designs, literature, and craftwork. His designs were showcased at the AA London, MOCA Taipei, the Venice Biennale in 2004, the Singapore Season in Beijing and Shanghai in 2007. he received the Singapore President*s Design Award, ‘Design of the Year 2007’, for the design of Page One Bookstore at Vivocity. He masterminded the Singapore Flagship for Kinokuniya bookshop in Ngee Ann City in 1995 and has since designed many other stores in various countries.
Significant architectural projects in Singapore include The Singapore Management University; the International HQ for the BreadTalk Group; the HQ for Select Group; The Sultan boutique hotel, earned the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Architectural Heritage Awards in 2012. International projects include Commune by the Great Wall in Beijing, Singapore Pavilion at World Expo Shanghai 2010, a HQ building with Ceramic Museum in Chuzhou, Homage Serviced Apartments in Istanbul, and Villas in Hangzhou, China. Current projects include Business Parks in Beijing, Shenzhen and Suzhou for the GLP Group, Condominiums in Taipei for the JUT Group, A Banquet Hall, Resort Hotel with Villas in Van, Turkey, and Agung Sedayu Group’s Museum at PIK2, Jakarta.
Recent completed projects in Singapore include the restoration of Bukit Timah Railway Station, the Singapore River Cycle Route and the preservation of Gallop Extension, a heritage site relates to UNESCO Singapore Botanic Gardens. Gallop Extension has received multiple awards including the URA’s Architectural Heritage 2022 Award for Conservation with Distinction, the Singapore Institute of Architects (SIA) – Architectural Design Awards 2023 -Special Categories (Public Place Making) Award, and the Design of the Year Award.
Kay Ngee has also contributed to the cultural discourse through his writings on arts, culture, and urban landscapes. Publications to date include “不完夏”（Never Ending Summer 1978), “重顾草莓地”（Strawberry Fields Revisited 2006), “城市磁场”（Magnetic Fields of Cities 2008), and “思慕的城”（Cities of My Longing 2019) - was selected as one of the “Ten Best Books of 2019” by Zaobao, Singapore.
He believes in the synergistic relationship between these diverse pursuits, enriching his overall perspective. Presently, Kay Ngee serves on the National Arts Council Board and teaches at the National University of Singapore, School of Architecture. In 2023, He was honoured with the President*s Design Award – Designer of the Year accolade.