Renowned Vancouver architect Bing Thom dead at age 75

Oct 4 2016, 4:04 pm

Bing Thom, a renowned Vancouver architect responsible for some of Metro Vancouver’s most architecturally unique buildings, has passed away at the age of 75.

According to a statement by his namesake firm, Thom died from a brain aneurism this afternoon in Hong Kong. Bonnie Thom, his wife for over 50 years, was by his side when he died.

“Bing believed architecture transcends the building, to shine its light onto its whole surroundings,” said Bonnie in a statement. “He was so happy his architects also pursue this adventure of ‘building beyond buildings.'”

Thom worked with architects Fumihiko Maki and Arthur Erickson before starting his own firm, Bing Thom Architects, in 1982. Some of his most celebrated local designs include the UBC Chan Centre for Performing Arts, Sunset Community Centre, Surrey City Centre Library, Central City Surrey, Guildford Aquatic Centre, and Aberdeen Centre.

His firm has also worked on a number of high-profile international projects such as the Xiqu Centre Opera House in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon District, the University of Chicago Centre in Hong Kong, the Binhai Cultural District of Tianjin, and the Arena Stage Theater in Washington DC.

A number of projects designed by his firm are also proposed or under construction.

“Those who were lucky enough to know Bing recognized his inherent graciousness and how he treated everyone he met with respect,” said BC Premier Christy Clark. :It was also that appreciation for bringing people together that can be seen in his work – buildings and spaces that reflect the communities they enrich .”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and we thank them for the gift that was Bing Thom. His legacy and his positive impact on the world around him will stand the test of time.”

Current principal Venelin Kokalov will take over the leading role of principal-in-charge at Thom’s firm.

“I have been truly blessed to have been able to collaborate with Bing over the last two decades,” said Venelin. “Under his mentorship, I grew not just as a designer but also, through his example, as a leader. Bing has made my transition to Principal-In-Charge feasible and I am committed to carrying Bing’s dreams and vision into the future.”

Thom was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Canada when he was just a child. He received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from UBC and his Master of Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley.