Stanley Kwok is a master architect, urban planner and city builder. He is well known in British Columbia for reshaping Vancouver’s False Creek, Whistler Resort and Victoria Inner Harbour, but his achievements reach far beyond architecture and design in his native China and adopted home of Canada.
Stanley launched his professional career in Hong Kong, where he established a nearly 20-year partnership with renowned architect Eric Cumine, was elected president of the Hong Kong Society of Architects and taught architecture at the University of Hong Kong. By 1968, he had designed more than 200 buildings in Hong Kong and was one of its most celebrated young architects. But violent riots, inspired by the Cultural Revolution, motivated Stanley to look for a brighter future for his family in Canada.
In his new home of Vancouver, Stanley and John D’eathe founded Canadian Freehold Properties in 1970. In a decade, the asset base of the company grew from $20 to $280 million as it developed landmark properties across North America, including Victoria’s Laurel Point Inn, which Stanley designed.
In 1984, Stanley became president of British Columbia Place Ltd., which was responsible for the planning and development of the north shore of False Creek in Vancouver. In 1987, B.C. Place’s mandate changed to sell the site in an international bidding process. Preferring the role of developer rather than salesman, Stanley stepped down and led a bid team for Li Ka-shing of Hong Kong. The company, Concord Pacific, was awarded the contract.
As deputy chairman of Concord Pacific, Stanley worked closely with the mayor of Vancouver to establish the co-operative planning process, a new model of community development. As he led the planning and building of the $3-billion Concord Pacific Place development, Stanley became the public face for a new era of community engagement and real estate development in Vancouver.
Stanley remains close to Mr. Li and his family. For the past two decades, he has served as a director of Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd., Mr. Li’s flagship organization. Stanley has also served as a board director for more than 20 organizations, including the Bank of Montreal, B.C. Cancer Foundation, Husky Oil and Royal Roads University Foundation.
In recent years, Stanley has worked on Canadian and international real estate developments, including the world-renowned Dubai Marina development. He also serves as president of Amara Holdings Inc., a private investment organization.