Bing Thom, dead at 75

Award-winning architect sculpted Surrey's skyline, and mapped its city core

Bing Thom (left) poses with an architectural rendering of the City Centre Library.

The man behind the transformation of Surrey’s City Centre and the sculptor of its skyline has died.

World-renowned architect Bing Thom died of an aneurism on Tuesday afternoon at Eastern Hospital in Hong Kong.

The architect had a lasting impact on this city, most prominently with the award-winning design of the Central City tower.

Thom also had tremendous influence on Surrey City Council and mapped out what he envisioned at a dynamic downtown core, much of it built in civic centres.

They include the iconic Central City tower and Surrey Centre Library. With that, he created a vision for a performing arts centre in City Centre.

More recently, Thom designed the Guildford Aquatic Centre.

Mayor Linda Hepner said Tuesday Thom’s passing is a tremendous loss.

“What a legacy he has left for Surrey,” Hepner said, pointing out that Thom actually designed the Newton Library back in 1983.

Since then, he has played a huge role in shaping this city, she said.

“He has left not only a legacy of projects, but he was so well loved in this city,” Hepner said. “We reached out to him even on issues that were not directly within his domain (as architect), but we so respected his comments.”

Thom inspired the city to create places where people could meet openly and freely, such as the city plaza between city hall and the library.

“He was such a visionary for us,” Hepner said. “It is a tremendous loss.”

Bonnie, his wife of 50 years, posted a tribute to him on his website.

“Bing believed architecture transcends the building to shine its light onto its whole surroundings,” Bonnie Thom wrote. “He was so happy his architects also pursue this adventure of building beyond buildings.”

Bing Thom was 75 years old.