James K. M. Cheng

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James K. M. Cheng[1]

James K. M. Cheng, generally referred as James Cheng, is a Canadian architect best known for his condominium towers in Vancouver, British Columbia. Cheng's green glass towers have helped create the architectural style known as Vancouverism. He received the Order of Canada on November 19, 2012.



James Cheng was born in Hong Kong and studied at University of Washington, Seattle, followed by a Master's degree under Richard Meier at Harvard. After an extended apprenticeship in Arthur Erickson's office, he established his own practice, James KM Cheng Architects, which has focused on large scale condominium towers for real estate developers since 1978[2].

Representative Buildings by James Cheng

Beginning in the 1990s, Vancouver saw an unprecedented real estate boom that led to the construction of dozens of condo towers in the city. Cheng has become the leading residential tower designer of this period. His architectural and urban design ideas are at the center of 'Vancouverism's' trademark thin-tower-on-townhouse housing typology, advanced through a string of carefully proportioned high density residential complexes all over Vancouver's downtown peninsula[3]. Some famous buildings designed by Cheng include:

Shangri-La, 1128 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC

Shangri-La hotels are tailored to the extremely wealthy and always aim to create a lasting impression with their buildings, as with Vancouver's Shangri-La building, the tallest in the city. The building is located in the the financial district of downtown Vancouver on Georgia Street, one of Vancouver's oldest streets. In the heart of downtown, the building offers residents the chance to complete most errands and enjoy much of Vancouver's downtown entertainment without more than a short walk.

Quaywest, 1033 Marinaside Crescent & 1067 Marinaside Crescent, Vancouver, BC

The Quaywest Resort Residences are a pair of high-rise buildings located on the waterfront of Vancouver's prestigious Yaletown neighbourhood. Built in 2001, they were the last towers to be erected on Marinaside Crescent East of Davie Street. Known for its fabulous amenities and great location, it has been popular with owner-occupiers and rental tenants alike.

Fairmont Pacific Rim Estates & Hotel, 1011 West Cordova, Vancouver, BC

Fairmont Pacific Rim Estates & Hotel is a luxury hotel and condominium building in Vancouver, British Columbia. It is one of the tallest in the city and was completed just in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics. One of Vancouver's many nicknames is the "City of glass", which reflects the dominance of steel-and-glass architecture in the downtown core. The Fairmont Pacific Rim Estates & Hotel is one of the many buildings that lends credence to this name.

One Harbour Green, 1169 West Cordova Street, Vancouver

One Harbour Green is the first of three exquisite buildings built that make up Harbour Green Place, Vancouver's entry into five star residential developments in Coal Harbour. It was completed in 2005 with Two Harbour Green selling three years later in 2008.

Two Harbour Green, 1139 West Cordova Street, Vancouver

Two Harbour Green is the second of three buildings completed in the Harbour Green Complex in Coal Harbour. The Coal Harbour Seawall, Harbour Green Park, the newly built Convention Center, the spectacular views of water, park, and mountains contribute to makiing the Harbour Green Complex one of the west coast's most coveted places to live.

Other Buildings by James K. M. Cheng


  1. Photo Credit: Vancouverism Website
  2. James K. M. Cheng, Wikipedia
  3. James Cheng, Vancouverism.ca
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