Bing Thom to Receive Honorary Degree from the University of British Columbia

Vancouver architect Bing Thom will receive an honorary degree from the University of British Columbia at a May 27 congregation ceremony for his accomplishments in the international architectural field.

UBC President and Vice-Chancellor, Stephen Toope, will confer the honorary degree on Thom at the architect’s Alma Mater (he received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from UBC) on the stage of the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts the very building he designed.

Thom is one of Canada’s most accomplished architects. He is the principal of Bing Thom Architects (BTA), a Vancouver-based firm he founded in 1980. He has been designing award-winning buildings around the globe for the past four decades. His most recent project is the Sunset Community Centre, an innovative structure in Vancouver that celebrated its grand opening in April.

“I am deeply honoured to be recognized for doing something I am passionate about,” said Thom. “I feel I have come full circle in receiving this degree from my Alma Mater, on the stage of a building that our firm designed.”

He added: “This degree belongs to all the staff at Bing Thom Architects for their constant quest for creativity, authenticity and innovation in the projects we design around the world.”

Thom adds the honorary degree to his many other distinctions, including Canada’s highest honour, the Order of Canada, for his contribution to architecture and the Golden Jubilee Medal for outstanding service to his country. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Simon Fraser University in June, 2005.

His firm’s collection of legacy buildings around the world also includes:

the Canada Pavilion for Expo ’92 in Seville, Spain
Central City the new mixed-use campus for Simon Fraser University in Surrey, BC, and winner of the 2004 MIPIM Special Jury Prize in Cannes, France for the world’s top development
the Aberdeen Centre in Richmond, BC
the Pacific Canada Pavilion at the Vancouver Aquarium and Marine Science Centre
the highly anticipated Arena Stage theatre complex in Washington, DC
Trinity Uptown a riverfront master plan for Fort Worth, Texas and winner of the 2005 “Top Honor” Excellence on the Waterfront Award from the Waterfront Center in Washington
Tarrant County College Downtown Campus, Fort Worth, Texas Phase One currently under construction

Bing Thom thrives on complex building types such as performing-arts centres and civic buildings. His projects are often mixed-use, integrating a range of commercial, residential and institutional uses to create a vibrant and sustainable whole and to bring communities together.

While international in outlook, his design approach is always closely rooted in a deep understanding of the culture and history of each project’s local community.

UBC awards honorary degrees to distinguished individuals who have demonstrated longstanding achievement in an academic field or unparalleled commitment to community service.