Xuan fu

Xuan Fu


Managing Partner

Chicago, Shanghai, Guangzhou

Xuan fu

Xuan Fu is known as a trailblazer with a tenacious, yet empathetic approach to seeing her projects through. Xuan leverages her profound knowledge of the global business landscape to lead SOM’s practice in China. In this capacity, she combines her unique insight into China’s building industry, culture, and local contexts with an aptitude for realizing highly complex, ambitious, and unprecedented work.

A native of Beijing turned longtime Chicagoan, Xuan joined SOM in 1994. After starting as a technical designer, she later transitioned to project management, following her natural ability to understand and translate client needs into built work. She is dedicated to building cross-cultural relationships with clients and local design firms to advance a truly collaborative design process.

Wherever I’m working in the world, I strive to be a bridge between cultures and people, to enhance the work we do on all scales, from an entire city to a single building.

She believes that architects have a social, environmental, and economic responsibility to design sustainable work with enduring value. Her portfolio speaks to these values: for Poly Skyline Plaza, a mixed-use tower in Guangzhou, and Shenzhen WeBank Headquarters, Xuan advocated for energy saving measures to deliver more sustainable building programs. In Xiong’an, as part of an initiative led by China’s central government, Xuan is leading a team in designing a transit-oriented, sustainable model city to provide for the country’s rapid urbanization for decades to come.  Over the years, Xuan’s extensive work in this region has enabled her to strategically and sustainably shape the future of Chinese cities, and she has become a trusted advisor to clients and civic leaders. Xuan has also worked in London, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow, Chicago, and beyond.

Xuan serves on SOM’s Executive Committee, where she is responsible for the firm’s business and strategic operations, and is an advisor to SOM’s Asian Alliance and Women’s Initiative groups. She was featured in ‘Women Take Charge at SOM,’ a profile on the firm’s first-ever all-female leadership team in Architectural Record in 2020. Xuan also serves on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Through these appointments, Xuan’s expertise has directly shaped sustainability policy, research, and the design of the built environment, and positioned her as a trusted advisor on a global scale.

Selected Work