- Venelin KokalovPrincipalMENG
Venelin Kokalov is the studio’s Design Principal and Principal-in-Charge. For over two decades he, together with firm founder Bing Thom, has lead the practice with exceptional designs and a rich, distinctive visual language. The commitment to design excellence has been recognized by numerous awards and honours.
Trained in both architecture and structural engineering with a background strongly routed in traditional craftsmanship, Venelin is able to seamlessly weave together established and contemporary technologies in innovative ways. Acknowledged for his intuition and sensitivity to forms, space, and composition he has a unique ability to make architecture work, make it meaningful, and above all make it beautiful.
Under his direction, the studio won the prestigious international competitions for the Xiqu Opera House in Hong Kong and the University of Chicago Center in Hong Kong, home of the Booth School of Business. His work and passion can be seen in the completed Surrey City Centre Library, BC, Arena Stage in Washington, DC, the Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas, and most recently the Guildford Aquatic Centre in Surrey.
- Michael HeeneyPrincipalArchitect AIBC, FRAIC, RI(BC), LEED AP
Michael Heeney has been integral to the growth of Bing Thom Architects since joining the firm in the late 1980s. Leading local and international projects, Michael’s expertise is seeing these projects through to reality; he makes things happens. From concept to fruition, he uses creativity and diplomacy to move ideas forward, bring people together and create synergies. One of Michael’s earliest passions was the theatre and he draws a connection between producing great theatre and creating great architecture. The need to understand human nature and the energy and intensity required to see a project through are similar in both disciplines. “Architecture is a sort of stage set for life.”
Michael is passionate about the importance of creativity and culture in contributing to the health and vitality of urban centres and enhancing communities through innovative urban design and architecture. Active in the local community, Michael has served on the boards of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Downtown Vancouver Association, the Vancouver Economic Development Commission, and as a juror for the Canada Council for the Arts. Currently, Michael is the past President of the Vancouver Chapter of Lambda Alpha International and a member of the PuSh Festival board. Michael has degrees from the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto, as well as a diploma in Urban Land Economics
- Earle BriggsDirector852 3727 2386MARCH
With over 30 years of experience, Earle Briggs is one of BTA’s senior Project Directors. After training at Carlton University in Ottawa and subsequently working for a number of years in Toronto, Earle moved to the west coast in the early 1990s to take a position at BTA. Since then he has been responsible for a wide range of high profile projects around the world both with BTA and other prominent design firms. Earle has a particular expertise in the design and construction of complex cultural building types, coordinating diverse interest groups and delivering project with distinct design integrity.
Notably, Earle has led teams on a number of significant performing arts projects, including: the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Fisher Centre for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Novartis International Auditorium, La Maison Symphonique, St Catharines Performing Arts Centre and most recently the Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong. Earle’s calm working style and intense work ethic is legendary as he has ensured his projects maintain an even keel through all stages of the work.
- James BrownDirector604 682 1881 x231Architect AIBC, MFA, MRAIC
James graduated for the University of British Columbia with a Master in Architecture and has been with BTA since 1999. Focusing on institutional and cultural projects, James has worked on many high profile performing arts and post-secondary institutions including Central City/Simon Fraser University in Surrey BC, the Mead Centre for American Theater in Washington DC, and most recently the Centre for Arts and Culture at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. James has a strong record of delivering complex projects while maintaining the architectural integrity throughout the design and construction phases. He is recognized for not only design and technical skills, but also managerial expertise and his ability to work with diverse groups to ensure project program, schedule, and budget goals are realized.
James is a registered Architect in British Colombia, a member of the Royal Architecture Institute for Canada, and a member of the Green Building Council. In addition, James is a member of SCUP (Society for College and University Planning), USITT (United States Institute for Theater Technology). In Vancouver, James is actively involved in the cultural life of the city as an active member as well as being a board member of the Civic Theatres of Vancouver which advises on the Orpheum Theatre (home of the Vancouver Symphony), the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (home of Vancouver Opera) and the Vancouver Playhouse (home of various chamber/recital societies in Vancouver).
- Shinobu HommaDirector604 682 1881 x243Architect AIBC, MRAIC
Shinobu Homma is BTA’s Technical Director and oversees the design development, building envelope and construction documentation for most of BTA’s projects. Shinobu grew up in the Niigata Prefecture in Japan, in a house with traditional Japanese joinery, and received his Bachelor of Technology in Architecture degree at the Tokyo University of Science before immigrating to Canada in the early 1980’s.
Shinobu is a respected mentor for the next generation of designers and has been with BTA for over 20 years with more than 30 years of professional experience in Canada, USA, and Japan. His expertise in fine detailing springs from his extensive technical knowledge and design sensitivity. As a result, he has a major responsibility in the office for ensuring the quality and integrity of building detailing for BTA’s projects. Outside of the office, Shinobu is also a passionate and well known volunteer in the community and was recently awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013 for his service, achievements and contributions to Canada.
- Ling MengDirector604 682 1881 x229MCIP, RPP, PHD Urban Planning
Ling Meng is a designer and urban planner reputed for his understanding of the relationship and influences between architecture and the urban context. Known for his innovative ideas and creativity, Ling’s strength is his ability to balance all aspects of the project, handling complex challenges without compromising the integrity of the design.
Ling grew up in Tianjin, China, where he received his first degree in architecture. He then won a series of scholarships to study at Japan’s most prestigious university, the University of Tokyo where he completed a Master Degree in Urban Design, followed by a PhD in Urban Planning. Upon coming to Canada, Ling worked on commercial projects for Richmond and the Concord Pacific development on False Creek. He was responsible for both the overall master plan and the architectural concept for the Killarney Community Centre, in southeast Vancouver. Since joining BTA in 1999, Ling has been the lead Urban Designer on multiple projects including Trinity Uptown, Surrey City Centre Master Plan, Shanghai Expo 2010 Master Plan and SAIT Polytechnic Campus Master Plan in Calgary.
- Francis YanDirector852 3727 2368Architect AIBC, MRAIC, OAA, RIBA, HKIA, LEED AP
Francis Yan has over thirty years of international experience in design, project and construction contract management and technical trouble-shooting. After graduating from the University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor of Architecture (Distinction), Francis worked for some of Hong Kong’s leading design firms before moving to Toronto’s Moffat Kinoshita and Associates. He returned to Asia to spend six years working on the $1.2 billion Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Project while at the same time completing his Master of Science in Project Management at the University of Singapore.
Joining BTA in 1999, Francis excels in project management, delivery and construction administration on BTA’s largest and most complex projects. Francis served as Practice Consultant for the AIBC’s Practice Standards Consultation Service and was a member of the Institute’s Contracts Committee. With BTA’s award of the Xiqu Centre project in Hong Kong, Francis is now living full-time in Hong Kong and is Managing Director of the Xiqu Centre project and BTA’s Hong Kong office. Francis is a Registered Architect in Hong Kong and a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects.
- Helen RittsDirector, Marketing & Communications604 682 1881 x239
Helen Ritts has been a key member of the BTA management team since 2004. With a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and wide-ranging background in real estate development, property and resort management, Helen leads the marketing and communication aspects of BTA. Administrative strengths, an appreciation for design and a sense of humour enable Helen to connect and engage with BTA’s various and diverse audiences. Working with the Executive and Project teams at BTA, Helen develops and implements BTA’s various marketing and communication strategies and initiatives.
- Maria TangDirector, Finance604 682 1881 x204CA, CPA (Delaware, US)
- Bibianka FehrAssociate Director604 682 1881 x211DIPL-ING (FH)
Trained in Europe as an Interior Architect at the University of Applied Sciences in Trier, Germany, Bibi joined BTA in 2004 and has quickly become the lead interior designer in the office. She is a gifted communicator who works very well with building owners and users. Her abilities in functional programming, space planning and project management are formidable and together with her design skills have played a key role in BTA’s ability to complete projects within tight schedules and challenging technical requirements. Bibi has played an important role on most of the recent significant buildings produced by BTA including Arena Stage, Tarrant County College, Surrey Library, Aberdeen Square, MacEwan University, Xiqu Centre and Central City.
- Amirali JavidanAssociate Director604 682 1881 x241MARCH, LEED AP
A graduate of McGill University, Amirali has been part of the BTA team for over 15 years and has been involved in the design and implementation of both architecture and urban design projects. During this time he has worked on many high profile and complex projects including the Trinity Uptown Master Plan and Tarrant County College projects in downtown Fort Worth, TX. His other BTA credits include being a key team member for the Shanghai Expo 2010 Master Plan, Arena Stage renovation and expansion in Washington, DC, Aberdeen Square and the Xiqu Opera House in Hong Kong. Presently he is leading the design teams for two large commercial projects in downtown Vancouver.
- Marcos HuiAssociate604 682 1881 x223MARCH
A graduate of UBC, Marcos has been working with BTA for well over a decade and is one of the most well rounded designers in the office. Trained as an artist and coming from a previous career as a graphic designer, his unique approach to architecture balances composition, scale, detail and aesthetic expression. Marcos’ considerable strength as a designer is supplemented by his technical and administrative expertise. His breadth of knowledge has been rounded out by his project experience which includes the full range of residential, institutional and civic projects.
Marcos is currently managing the University of Chicago Hong Kong Campus project and prior to that was the project leader on the Sunset Community Centre and Surrey City Centre Library. He was also a key member of the design team on DC’s Woodridge Library and played a key construction administration role for Phase 2 of the Aberdeen Centre project in Richmond. Typical of all BTA projects, the relationship with our client is of upmost importance and Marcos is well respected for his ability to communicate and manage projects efficiently and effectively.
- Lisa PotopsinghAssociate604 682 1881 x249MARCH
A graduate of the University of Calgary, Lisa has been a key member of the BTA team for over a decade. A passion for great design and exceptional technical proficiency plus strong interpersonal and organizational skills has assured Lisa’s role as a project manager on numerous projects, including Tarrant County College, Surrey City Centre Library and most recently Surrey’s new Guildford Aquatic Centre. In addition to project management work, Lisa’s has also been involved in helping our clients establish their building needs and develop the functional program for their building projects.
- Jacqueline WilesAssociate604 682 1881 x209Architect AIBC
A graduate of UBC, Jackie has been practicing architecture for over fifteen years, the last decade with BTA. She has been involved in a wide range of projects including institutional, educational, commercial and multi-unit residential. The majority of her experience has been with arts and cultural projects and she is currently leading the team working on the new building for MacEwan University’s Centre for the Arts in Edmonton. Jackie is a highly conscientious architect whose organizational skills and exceptional communication ability ensure her project teams operate efficiently and BTA projects are well executed.
- Yimei ChanAssociate, Hong Kong852 3727 2388NCARB, MRAIC, LEED AP
Yimei Chan is currently working with BTA’s Hong Kong office and brings over ten years of international professional experience in the United States, Canada and China. Yimei was born in Hong Kong and is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. She graduated from New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a Bachelor of Architecture, Bachelor of Science in Building Science and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree and then continued to pursue architecture studies in Rome. Yimei joined BTA in 2001 and participated in the design and construction of Aberdeen Centre and Arena Stage Project. She returned to Hong Kong in 2003 for family reasons where she joined Aedas HK working on the Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel and the Hong Kong International Airport Terminal, as well as spending several years with Steven Holl Architects in Beijing before returning to BTA in 2012.
- Colette ParrasAssociate, Marketing & Communications604 682 1881 x213
- Andrew YanResearcher and Urban Planner604 682 1881 x247MCIP, RPP, GISP
Born and raised in Vancouver, Andy Yan is a senior urban planner with Bing Thom Architects and a researcher with BTAworks, the firm’s research and development division. He has extensively worked in the non-profit and private urban planning sectors with projects in the metropolitan regions of Vancouver, San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. He specializes in the fields of urban regeneration, applied demographics, Geographic Information Systems, neighborhood development, public outreach, social media, and quantitative research.
Andy holds a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of California – Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours distinctions in Geography and Political Science from Simon Fraser University. Andy is a registered professional planner with the Canadian Institute of Planners and a Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional.
With academic service, Andy is the acting director of Simon Fraser University’s City Program and also an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia’s School of Regional and Community Planning. He is an affiliate with the University of British Columbia’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Masters of Urban Design. He is also a member of the Simon Fraser University Urban Studies Advisory Council. He is a visiting Scholar at New York University’s Asian/Pacific/American Studies Institute (2002-2003, 2015-2016) as well as a visiting scholar at SFU’s Institute of Governance.
In community service, Andy has been reappointed as a Commission appointee to the City of Vancouver City Planning Commission for a second term in 2014. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Downtown Eastside Neighborhood House and the David Suzuki Foundation’s Climate Council. He is a former member of the City of Vancouver’s Development Permit Board Advisory Panel as well as a former member of the Academic Roundtable for the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Task Force on Housing Affordability.
Andy is a recipient of the 2015 Royal Architecture Institute of Canada’s Advocates of Architecture Award.
- Marcela AngProject Coordinator604 682 1881 x200
- Shawn Bukhari604 682 1881 x238Communications Designer
- Alex Buss604 682 1881 x227IA AIBC
- Kyle Chan604 682 1881 x252Architect AIBC, HKIA, LEED Green Assoc.
Kyle has been working with BTA since 2012. Prior to this, Kyle worked as a designer on several residential developments in Metro Vancouver, as well as bringing a decade of experience working in Hong Kong on large-scale, complex and fast-track projects including an airport terminal, transit rail stations, an exhibition centre and commercial developments. Kyle is a well-rounded architect with experience in all phases of projects. She has a particular passion for detailed design and has led several teams in the completion of construction drawing packages. Her BTA project experience includes the Xiqu Centre for the West Kowloon Cultural District and the University of Chicago’s Center in Hong Kong, as well as the Centre for Arts and Communication at MacEwan University in Edmonton.
- Chun Choy852 3727 2387
- Dan Du604 682 1881 x221Architect AIBC, LEED AP
A graduate of the University of Manitoba, Dan has been working with BTA for over 15 years and has been involved in a wide variety of projects ranging in scale from custom homes to entire city master plans. Dan’s broad facility with languages, he is fluent in Vietnamese, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) and English, make him well positioned to serve our international clients. A LEED accredited professional, Dan has extensive experience working with authorities having jurisdiction and coordinating with consultant teams in the delivery of complex projects. Dan is currently leading a project team on a high end residential tower in Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood. While Dan is well rounded in all aspects of project management, he takes particular pleasure in detailing interiors that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
- Simon Chu604 682 1881 x210
- Andrea Flynn604 682 1881 x220MARCH
- Daniel Gasser604 682 1881 x228MARCH
Daniel Gasser is a graduate from the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. Winner of the AIA Henry Adams Medal, Daniel’s studies centered largely in two veins; Construction Technology/Processes and alternative urban design strategies. His research into Chinese Urbanism and Horizontal Density was exhibited along with a group of likeminded research at the 2011 Chengdu Biennale, while his interests in building construction culminated in a publication for the magazine arcCA on Architect/Artisan collaboration.
After graduation in 2012, Daniel moved to Vancouver to begin working for Bing Thom Architects. At BTA, Daniel is involved primarily with the concept and schematic design phases of the work and accordingly, deals with a wide range of large projects. Currently he is working on the commission for the Chinese opera house in the West Kowloon district of Hong Kong. Specifically, Daniel’s work deals with the analysis and design of the building’s facade system.
- Marius Hexan604 682 1881 x217
- Nicole Hu604 682 1881 x244AT AIBC, LEED AP
- Sam Huang604 682 1881 x219RA, AIA
Sam is the project lead of Shenyang Kerry Centre, a mixed-use financial centre comprised of hotel (Shangri-La), office towers and retail mall, situated in northern China currently under construction. Working closely with clients, shareholders and consultants in Hong Kong, China and Vancouver, he manages the multidisciplinary team from schematic design to construction phase, with focus on not only building designs but also technical coordination in a multi-lingual, cross-continent setting.
Prior to joining BTA, Sam has over 10 years of experience as an architect and urban planner in New York, specialized in large scale mixed-use projects in Asia and in the U.S., notably skyscrapers in China and Singapore. Moreover, His interest in urban developments has prompted him to obtain a professional certificate in real estate development to further his understandings from the development point of view and to create the built environment in the holistic approach.
- Sally Kim604 682 1881 x219
- Johnnie Kuo852 3727 2382IA AIBC, LEED AP ND, LEED AP BD+C
- Jennifer LamAccounting Assistant604 682 1881 x205
- Kwan Lam852 3727 2383
- Jie Liu604 682 1881 x215
- Cody Loeffen604 682 1881 x218
- Stephanie McWilliamsAdministrative Assistant
- Sanaz Nooshafarin604 682 1881 x216MLA, BArch
- Kailey O’Farrell604 682 1881 x242
- Basia Opiol604 682 1881 x246
- Culum Osborne604 682 1881 x248IA.AIBC, MARCH, LEED AP BD+C
Culum is an intern architect with Bing Thom Architects. A graduate of Tulane University, Culum’s experience prior to joining BTA includes transit design with Perkins+Will, industrial design with Joel Berman Glass, and work on several housing projects in Vienna, Austria. Culum’s education in New Orleans influenced his interests in ecological design and urban form, and as a LEED AP Culum contributes knowledge in sustainable design practices to BTA projects.
Culum has contributed to various public and cultural projects with BTA. As a team member on the Xiqu Centre for Chinese Opera in Hong Kong, Culum assisted with the design development and technical coordination of the Teahouse and Seminar Hall, two intimately-scaled theatres. Culum furthered his experience in theatre design on the Tianjin Binhai Civic Centre & Theatre, working on the conceptual design and detailing of the complex’s main proscenium and black box theatres. In addition, Culum has also contributed to two higher education projects with BTA, working on the design documentation of the University of Chicago Center in Hong Kong and assisting with the program development of a new school for Art, Design, and Music for the University of Alberta. Culum has also contributed to several of BTA’s Vancouver projects, including the mixed-use Burrard and Nelson development.
- Hannah Perry604 682 1881 x232
- Elaine Tong604 682 1881 x210Architect AIBC, LEED® AP
- Arthur Tseng604 682 1881 x245Architect AIBC, LEED® AP
- Obi Vattanawong604 682 1881 x250
- KK Wong852 3727 2383
- Vivian Yu852 3727 2381