Since its opening in 1995, the unique design of Thompson's building has attracted attention.
With a view to Richmond's history and the airport's influence on the city, architects, Henriquez Partners, in cooperation with Thompson's Building Committee, created a unique and fitting theme. After superimposing a map of Richmond over the Thompson site plan, Henriquez and Partners set out to recreate the city, airport and all, on a smaller scale.
With the pond at the north of the building, and the River Project at the south end, the building represent the arms of the Fraser River. The landscaping, designed by Ito and Associates, is representative of Richmond's geography and landmarks. The gymnasium is the hangar with the multipurpose rooms and public lounges assuming the guise of an old bi-plane, thus completing the desired image: a plane exiting a hangar set to take off over the city. Thompson's newer building is 21,291 square feet, approximately three times the size of the original building. The site (Centre and adjacent park) is 8.1 acres.