In Passing: James Coverdale

James Coverdale, a former associate of the AIBC, passed away on July 1, 2014 after a long and courageous battle with brain cancer. James passed on peacefully in the loving presence of his wife and “dearest soul friend” Lynn, their beloved daughter Nina, and sister-in-law Karen.  With the support of Lynn (and with then-infant Nina in tow) Jim took a daring mid-life plunge into the School of Architecture at Carlton University. Upon graduating he applied his modernist aesthetic and impeccable design skills to projects in Vancouver for some 20 years.

Jim’s architectural sensibility was continuous with his deep love and profound understanding of music, a gift he generously bestowed on all who knew him, whether by sharing the latest acquisition to his infinitely expanding and eclectic music collection, or an exhilarating account of a concert he’d just attended. As past president and long- standing board member of the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, Jim’s vast musical knowledge, superb ear, and commitment to governance helped to inform and shape Canada’s leading showcase for cutting edge music, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Jim understood that small things often carry great significance and loved tuning others in to the “bright moments” that illuminated his days. To his many friends he was a touchstone not only on matters of taste but also on matters of right and wrong, how we should conduct ourselves, and what we should attend to in our lives.

Those who knew Jim are invited to visit and share their remembrances. An Open House at the family home to honour James will be held on Saturday, July 26 from 3-5 p.m. Donations to The Callanish Society (604 732-0633) and The Coastal Jazz and Blues Society (604 872-5200 ext. 5) in James’ memory will be gratefully accepted.

A North Korean Architect’s Crazy Visions Of The Future


By Kyle Vanhemert
July 22, 2014,

It’s difficult for anyone to imagine the future. But what if you were largely unfamiliar with the present?

That’s the fascination at the heart of “Commissions for Utopia,” a series of futuristic scenes of North Korea dreamed up by one of the country’s promising young architects. The illustrations, currently on view at the Venice Architecture Biennale in Italy, show the buildings of tomorrow as envisioned by someone with little exposure to the architecture of today.

In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, “architect” is a government job. There are no private projects, and young North Korean architects come out of school with only a faint understanding of the field as it exists outside their deeply isolated country. Recently, however, one young architect was given a rare chance at an outside commission by a client named Nick Bonner.

Bonner holds the unusual distinction of operating the most popular tourist agency to the least-visited country in the world. Born in Britain and trained as a landscape architect, he founded Koryo Tours in Beijing in 1993. Today, the company takes over two thousand tourists into North Korea a year — more than half of all the foreigners who visit.  Read more…

Hong Kong Needs Master Plan For Urban Development, Architect Says

By Yvonne Liu
July 22, 2014, Property

While the government seeks more land across the city to meet its ultimate target of 470,000 more homes within a decade, architect Bryant Lu says Hong Kong urgently needs an urban master plan.

Lu, vice-chairman of Ronald Lu & Partners, a major local architectural firm, said a large-scale master design should inform the city’s development.

“Architects are trained to think about design from a human perspective, not from the view of infrastructure. For example, how to improve the natural ventilation in a high-density area,” Lu said.

The Planning Department conducted a study of ventilation in Hong Kong, he said, and the results should have been taken into consideration in town planning.

“The planning of a new railway and highway should [also] involve architects,” Lu said. “A new railway or highway may cut human traffic flow. Architects could find ways to avoid such isolation.”

The Central and Wan Chai Reclamation area has shown how this can work, he said. Since the reclaimed land in the area is above the underground transport infrastructure, a waterfront promenade could be developed.

“It is a good design. It won’t cut human traffic flow, and people can enjoy the waterfront,” Lu said. In developing new districts to tackle the housing shortage, he suggested the government adopt an integrated approach. Read more…

The Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at UBC (CAWP)

Norway Wood Construction Technical Tour and Conference

The Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at UBC (CAWP) is pleased to announce that it will lead a technical tour to Norway in September 2014 to visit sites that showcase innovative wood design and construction, culminating in attendance with the 3 day Holzbau Nordic “Building our Future with Wood” conference. The tour will run during the week of September 21st to 27th and will focus on the sustainability and energy-efficiency benefits that wood can bring to contemporary construction practices in both the residential and non-residential sectors. Thanks to generous funding from Forestry Innovation Investment, this tour is available to BC architects, wood products manufacturers and building industry professionals at a special rate of $2,495. If you would like to know more about the Norway Wood Construction Technical Tour and Conference 2014 please email: or call Jason Chiu at 604-822-0082. To register for the event, click here. For further information visit the Norway Wood Construction Technical Tour and Conference 2014 website.

32.75 Core LUs

New Registered Educational Provider – WSP Canada Inc.

WSP is one of the world’s leading professional services firms, working with governments, businesses, architects and planners and providing integrated solutions across many disciplines. The firm’s expertise includes environmental remediation, urban planning, and sustainable transport network design. To view a listing of all current Registered Educational Providers, click here.

Spec Golf 2014

The Construction Specifications Canada Vancouver Chapter in collaboration with BCBEC is pleased to invite you to their Spec Golf 2014 Annual Golf Tournament. This year’s tournament is being held on Thursday, September 18th at Meadow Gardens Golf and Country Club. It will be a Shotgun Start (1pm) with a Texas Scramble format so that everyone can have fun and start/finish at the same time.  Click here to register.  For those interested in sponsorship, learn more.