Bing Thom Works by Bing ThomBing Thom Works by Bing Thom

Bing Thom Works

byBing ThomIntroduction byFumihiko Maki

Hardcover | June 20, 2011

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A revealing look at the holistic, community-centred philosophy behind Bing Thom's internationally acclaimed architecture.

Forgotten spaces, declining malls and sterilized neighborhoods seem like odd places to find inspiration. But it is these awkward places that have driven much of the work of Bing Thom Architects. This highly visual book outlines the recent work and thoughts of Bing Thom Architects (BTA), recently awarded firm of the year by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. The book opens with a particular focus on BTA's most recent project, the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. It takes the reader through the creative process, featuring detailed descriptions and illustrations of this beloved regional theatre's transformation into what will be the second-largest performing arts centre in Washington.

Architects, urban planners and even those in the theatre community will all appreciate Bing Thom Works for its informal essays about how the firm approaches each of its projects as both a philosophical and a practical process. The essays are followed by seven well-illustrated examples of recent BTA projects, ranging from an intimate single-family dwelling to a large-scale urban intervention, that have changed their communities.

Bing Thom was born in Hong Kong and immigrated to Vancouver as a child. He studied architecture at the University of British Columbia and the University of California, Berkeley. Early in his career he worked with Arthur Erickson, where he oversaw projects such as the Robson Square courthouse complex in Vancouver and Roy Thomson Hall i...
Title:Bing Thom WorksFormat:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 12 × 9 × 0.7 inPublished:June 20, 2011Publisher:Douglas And McIntyre (2013) Ltd.Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1553655893

ISBN - 13:9781553655893

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Read from the Book

From the Preface:Translating our ideas and work into a book is a challenging experience. As architects, we communicate in a three-dimensional language. To translate architecture into static text and graphics can never explain the work. A building must be experienced. A book may capture aspects of the feeling or mood of a building, but it is only through movement, touch, sound, light and space that a building is brought to life. A book can be a literary or visual work of art but it can never be architecture.So why this book, now?We believe that we are in a period where many are questioning the value of architecture. We have just witnessed an age of architectural exuberance that turned into an age of excess. Architecture became a commodity; people and cities believed a designer-branded building could somehow reinvent them for the better. Our hope is that this book may speak to those who are just beginning their architectural careers and those who want to reflect on what architecture is really about. Architecture is more than pure art. As architects, we have a social responsibility. We affect people's lives. And we can change the nature of our society, but only after digging deep and asking tough questions. Does a building even deserve to be built? With the vast majority of people now living in cities, the possibilities-and urgent need-have never been greater for this planet.This book is not meant to be a monograph. The three-section format is non linear. Rather than rationalize how we got to where we are today, we begin the book with where we are today-Arena Stage, our most recent major project in Washington, D.C., not yet finished at the time of writing. Arena, like other projects in messy parts of cities that many people would rather forget, is changing the neighbourhood. These "edge" projects are what we now find most exciting and meaningful and it is here that the world can change for the better. How do you regenerate wasted space, whether it's in the middle of a city or on the edge of a city? Some would describe our focus as regenerative urbanism. We just know our greatest desire is to give people a deeper sense of community. If there are barriers, we want to break them down. Meaningful buildings can do that.You'll find a series of essays in the middle of this book that illustrates our creative process. It's a philosophical and practical process we have developed that supports our own wish to practice the craft of architecture in its infinite scale, from designing cities to handrails. We've described it all in a way intended to make you feel part of a conversion. And if you can't physically experience our buildings, you can at least join us behind-the-scenes of seven very different projects described in the last section of the book.In the end, each building is only judged long after the opening ceremony and the photo essays. Does the building have depth, poetry? Does it capture spiritual values and fill more utilitarian needs? Can the building transcend the test of time? Have we made a difference? Does the building deserve to be built?Bing Thom and Michael Heeney October 2009

Table of Contents

ForewordPreface I. ArenaEssayFinished Building and Drawings II. EssaysMaster BuilderWhy We Want to Take On RiskHow We Take On Risk: Design-BuildThe Vancouver EffectCollisions: Building on the EdgeAll That Jazz: The Design Process at BTA III. ProjectsChan Centre for the Performing ArtsCanada PavilionSurrey Central CityAberdeen CentreSunset Community CentreTarant County CollegeAcadia Residence Complete WorksAwardsProject CreditsPhoto CreditsAcknowledgments

Editorial Reviews

"Bing Thom Works seems to be aimed at a wider readership than most architecture books. The writing is clear, articulate and unpretentious. It avoids arcane theoretical discussion or technical details, which makes it more user-friendly for the uninitiated.""Literary Review of Canada""For anyone inspired by nature, Thom’s biophilic, environmentally-sustainable, and socially-conscious built sculptures are worth delving into.""The Dirt: Connecting the Built and Natural Environments""Beyond the traditional display of selected projects this book provides a range of essays by Bing Thom that deal with the questions he has been asking throughout his career. ""What is architecture? What is the right approach to architectural design?"" These essays provide a nice backdrop to the diverse range of projects presented in this monograph. It is easy to see how Bing Thom has tried to explore these questions with different scales and programs.""Arch Daily""[Bing Thom has] articulated his thoughts in a new book called Bing Thom Works that reaches out with seven of his projects, seeking to dissolve the boundaries between architects and artisans.""Architects + Artisans""The book itself is as lovely as many of Mr. Thom’s projects. The photography is lush and the floorplans and elevations exquisite. The text is mostly written from the internal perspective of the Bing Thom firm and is informative when it sticks to the facts about projects. National Post