Fonds F0058 - Bing Thom Architects fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Bing Thom Architects fonds


  • 1977-2006 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

19,277 architectural drawings and other materials

Other material includes 61.8 m of textual records, 7,203 photographs, 135 computer diskettes, 124 presentation panels, 1 VHS video, 2 objects (1 paintbrush and 1 figurine), and 1 poster.

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Bing Thom Architects was established in 1981 in Vancouver, B.C. by Bing Thom. The firm earned its first design award that year for the 12th Avenue Condominiums. Thom’s projects were wide-ranging and included single dwellings, apartments and high-rises, restaurants, aquatic centres, and shopping malls, theatres and opera houses. He designed pavilions for both Expo ’86 in Vancouver and Expo ’92 in Seville Spain. Thom was also involved in large-scale city planning projects including city centre planning for Yuxi, China, and city and waterfront planning for both Vancouver and Dalian, China. Bing Thom Architects worked extensively in Vancouver but also internationally, eventually opening offices in Hong Kong, Washington D.C., and Beijing. Michael Heeney served as managing principal for Bing Thom Architects from 1989 to 2017.

Bing Wing Thom was born December 8, 1940 in Hong Kong. In 1950, the Thom family immigrated to Canada, settling in Vancouver. Thom received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of British Columbia (1966), and his Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley (1969/70). Thom initially taught architecture at the University of Singapore before moving to Tokyo to work for Japanese architect-urbanist Fumihiko Maki in 1971. He returned to Canada in 1972 as the project director for Arthur Erickson Architects. Thom was closely involved in some of Erickson’s prominent Canadian projects, including Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto (1977) and Robson Square Courthouse Complex in Vancouver (1973-1979). Thom also oversaw Erickson’s international projects including the Air Defence Ministry Building in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Bing Thom Architects received numerous awards for design and planning over its four decades of architectural work. Bing Thom is among Canada’s most well-known architects, having garnered both national and international acclaim for his work. He also became a Member of the Order of Canada in 1995, and was a recipient of the Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to Canada in 2002. Bing Thom Architects received the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) award for Firm of the Year in 2010, and in 2011, Thom received the RAIC’s highest honour, the RAIC Gold Medal. Bing Thom died in Hong Kong, October 4, 2016 at the age of 75.

Archival history

The records have been in the continuous custody of Bing Thom Architects, either onsite or offsite, prior to donation to the University of Calgary Canadian Architectural Archives in August 2015. Approximately 200 boxes of older projects were housed in an offsite facility, and the balance of the records were housed in the BTA offices.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Fonds was donated to the Canadian Architectural Archives by Bing Thom Architects in 2015.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of records documenting the architectural projects of Bing Thom Architects from 1980 to 2006. The majority of the projects are located in Vancouver but also Hong Kong, China, Texas, and Saskatoon. Records include architectural drawings, project files, photographs, and presentation panels documenting Bing Thom’s major projects Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, False Creek Yacht Club, Canada Pavilion Expo ’92, Georgia Hotel proposal, Pacific Canada Pavilion Vancouver Aquarium, Smithe & Homer, Dalian New Town master plan, along with another eighty projects. The fonds has one Series, Project records, which is divided into 5 subseries: 1. Project lists, 2. Drawings, 3. Files, 4. Photographs, and 5. Presentation panels.

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Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright held by Bing Thom Architects.

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Finding aids

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Accession area