Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Bing Thom creations unique in the lower mainland

Image from Bing Thom Architects

Bing Thom died yesterday. His loss will be felt keenly, here and abroad. Thom was born in Hong Kong, studied architecture at UBC, and became a "Berkeley Radical" in California.

Believing architects had social responsibility beyond the creation of artistic designs, he went to bat for public spaces, as when he opposed the building of a mega-casino near BC Place.

A student of Arthur Erickson, Thom worked as project manager on the Robson Square complex and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Later, he established his own firm and created designs for Expo 86. In 1989, he won the Governor General's Medal for the False Creek Yacht Club. He received the Order of Canada and many other awards.

Besides his many landmarks in the Lower Mainland, Thom designed the Canadian Canoe Museum, the Arena Stage in Washington, DC, and the Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong, scheduled to open next year.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Thom. Your many communities appreciate your contributions, even as we mourn your loss. Both visible in the picture above, the Surrey Centre Library and SFU Surrey will remain among my favourite places.

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