2013 Winner of the Margolese Design Prize

Bing Thom

Portrait of Bing Thom

Photo: Thomas Billingsley

Bing Thom, FRAIC

The late Bing Thom, FRAIC, was considered an urban visionary, and one of Canada’s most admired and accomplished architects. His commitment to architecture as a means to improve cities and social conditions has been recognized by a range of honours, including the Order of Canada and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding contributions to architecture and the community. His firm received the RAIC 2010 Architectural Firm Award. Dedicated to helping the next generation of architects, Thom was a popular lecturer in Canada and abroad, and the privileged recipient of honorary degrees from Simon Fraser University and UBC, and an honorary professorship from Tongji University in Shanghai. Thom received the 2011 RAIC Gold Medal, the highest honour awarded a Canadian architect.

Bing Thom is an extraordinary strategic thinker. He considers how a building can affect and create synergies for the wider community. That is very rare. He has worked across many spectrums of society and has influenced how I think as a non-architect about the value of architecture. Thom designs for citizens, not consumers.

2016 Selection Committee
Surrey City Centre Library, Surrey, British Columbia
Photo: Ema Peter
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Vancouver, British Columbia
Photo: Don Erhardt
Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, Vancouver, British Columbia
Photo: Tim Matheson

Following his immigration from Hong Kong to Vancouver with his family, he pursued a Bachelor of Architecture degree from University of British Columbia (UBC), and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Early in his career, he worked in the office of Fumihiko Maki in Tokyo before returning to Canada to join the office of Arthur Erickson. In this position, Thom oversaw notable projects, such as the Robson Square courthouse complex in Vancouver and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, before establishing Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects (BTA) in 1982. Among BTA’s many notable projects are the UBC Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, the Xiqu Centre opera house in Hong Kong, and the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. The firm was renamed Revery Architecture following his death in 2016.

 

Architecture has a huge potential to change our world for the better when it authentically engages the community in which it is placed.

Bing Thom, Vancouver Sun

From the Prize Ceremony

2013

Selection Committee

Nancy Noble

Director and CEO, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

Former CEO, Museum of Vancouver 

Phyllis Lambert

Founding Director & Chair of the Board of Trustees, Canadian Centre for Architecture

David Beers

Founding Editor, The Tyee

Co-founder, Tyee Solutions Society