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Friday, February 11, 2011

Best Toronto GTA Ontario Architecture Studios

Here are Toronto-area architectural firms producing high quality, innovative work.

Bortolotto Architects

The firm is committed to design excellence and the integration of sustainable and leading edge technologies. A significant concentration of the work is for government and educational institutions, reflecting the firm’s understanding of the complexities associated with public buildings and the public realm and their commitment to improving the quality of these places.

Bortolotto Design Architect has developed design strategies collectively called Performance Architecture.

Breathe Architects

Our unique approach sets Building Code precedents and enables our clients to express themselves through our product: be it intellectually, spiritually or monetarily. Their enthusiasm, evident on their websites creates clientele for us on a ongoing basis, so sustainability is achieved all around.

We see, as a logical extension, the need to promote more environmental sensitive living on a larger scale. Up until a few years ago the practice has been a Sole Proprietor. By embracing the Integrated Design Process we have further expanded the team and skill set necessary in our manifestation of an ecological practice. This inspires our clients to be more open-minded, accept ecological principles into their lives, and to communicate these to the broader community.

Implementation: As a team - client, builder and architect - we challenge conventions by proving that alternatives are ready for implementation. A good example is ruling of the Ontario Building Code Commission that strawbale constructions, a ’breathing’ wall assembly, is superior to conventional ‘sealed’ construction.

Cool Earth Architects

Elias (Lou) Ampas is a graduate of McGill University. He has been a licensed architect for almost 20 years. He has worked on, or been responsible for a number of award winning designs, with a portfolio of high-end housing, commercial, retail and community work. His most recent projects include net-zero townhouses and a passive solar house.

Martin Poizner has extensive technical experience and a level of insight gleaned in 49 years of practice, from a wide variety of experience. Martin was recently awarded the Order of Da Vinci by the Ontario Association of Architects for outstanding contributions to the Profession.

Sheena Sharp is a graduate of the University of Manitoba, and then obtained her Master of Architecture degree at the University of Washington, in Seattle. After her initial degree she worked as a research assistant on projects including Energy Efficiency and Daylighting, and a project which built and instrumented a wood frame house to monitor energy use.

She has experience in many forms of housing and commercial buildings. Her first large environmentally sustainable project was the $20 mil. addition and renovation for the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, where she acted as Project Architect while working for Young + Wright Architects.

Her second large environmentally sustainable project is the $3.5 addition and renovation to the District of Parry Sound Social Services Administration Board, which is currently a candidate for LEED certification.

CS+P Architects Toronto

CS&P Architects Inc., one of Canada's leading architectural practices, offers architectural, planning, interior and urban design services to a wide range of public and private sector clients. Since the firm's inception, a significant focus of our practice has been the design of public spaces and community-focused projects for recreational, judicial, and educational uses. Our objective in developing these projects is to discover imaginative and meaningful ways to connect these buildings with their contexts. By designing from the inside out, we continually explore ways to enhance and enrich our clients' programmes. Our dedicated team of 60 includes registered architects and accredited urban, interior design and LEED professionals. This talented group is commited to design excellence and client satisfaction. This winning approach has resulted in the loyalty of many longstanding clients as well as over 65 design excellence awards.

CXT Architects

CXT Architects Inc. has evolved into a firm with a reputation for strong problem solving skills, excellence in design, vigorous attention to detailing and technical execution, as well as leadership in contract administration. Throughout its history, the firm has consistently produced high quality architecture that responds to the specific needs of clients through various construction delivery modes including design-build and construction management.

Diamond & Schmidt

Born in South Africa, Jack Diamond arrived in Canada in 1964 as Founding Director of the University of Toronto’s Master of Architecture program. From 1968-1975 he was principal in the firm of Diamond and Myers. In 1975 he established A.J. Diamond Architects, which by 1989 had evolved into the partnership of A.J. Diamond, Donald Schmitt and Company.

Canadian born architect Donald Schmitt studied architecture at the University of Toronto, and has been in practice with Jack Diamond since 1978. Jack Diamond and Donald Schmitt are the founding principals of Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated.

In addition to the founding principals, Jack Diamond and Donald Schmitt, there are 13 principals, 13 associates, 92 registered graduate and student architects; and a support staff of 19.

Principals: Sydney Browne, Gregory Colucci, Martin Davidson, David Dow, Robert Graham, Helen Kabriel, Michael Leckman, Gary McCluskie, Birgit Siber, Matthew Smith, Jon Soules, Mike Szabo and Michael Treacy.

Associates: Walton Chan, John Featherstone, Branka Gazibara, Duncan Higgins, Daniel Klink, Matthew Lella, Ana Maria Llanos, Jarle Lovlin, Sarah Low, Michael Lukasik, Jennifer Mallard, Antra Roze, and Peggy Theodore.

Peter Gabor Associates

Only through a thorough understanding the of the client's goals, and achieving high design standards within the real world context of fiscal constraint, complex approvals, and existing urban and/or building fabrics, can an architect add the maximum value through his or her involvement.

At Gabor Associates: Architecture, Urban Design, and Interiors, the principal, Peter A. Gabor, Architect MRAIC and his longstanding professional support staff are dedicated to understanding the client's needs, and fulfilling the functional design within a framework of design excellence in, style, finish, and contextual response. To us, a project is not truly satisfying unless the client is as proud of the design as we are.

Julian Jacobs Architects

Building/Environments must be designed with love and care. An artifact designed in this way is substantially different, superior, its inner life is revealed; it does not seem inanimate. It has the sense of a living thing, and a sense of 'soul'.

For every project we seek a 'conceptual DNA molecule' – a central idea which imparts information to every aspect of the design, ensuring harmony, unity, and authenticity; as in an oak tree – the roots, trunk, branches and leaves are all harmonized and unified by its DNA. The central idea comes from asking, predesign, how one should begin to think about the project. Every project deserves a 'tabula rasa' – a blank slate.

There are many ways to categorize spaces, but for us the most useful categorization is as 'connector space' and 'non-connector space.' For us the space (or spaces) which connect the programmatic elements is as important as the elements themselves. One methodology we have developed uses the analogy of the ‘Architectural Bouquet in a Vase’, where the vase is the ‘connector space’ and the flowers are the elements: the vase is custom-designed to control the flow and organization of the building.

Kirkor Architects

Kirkor Architects + Planners was founded in 1990 by partners Steven Kirshenblatt and Clifford Korman. It has developed into a firm of nearly 60 architects, interns and technologists who support a robust client list including major developers both local and international.

KPMB Architects

The integration of architecture and sustainability, performance and aesthetics and making buildings that support the public realm is at the heart of KPMB’s work. The individual act of making a building must be both transformative and enduring, and take part in a collective effort to support all levels of life, work, and creativity. Architecture must be positioned responsively between landscape and urbanism, issues of cost and environmental performance, and innovation and design excellence. This approach to architecture has earned the practice the Royal Architectural Institute of Architects Firm of the Year Award and the Toronto Arts Award.

Paul Raff Studio

The Studio is an internationally recognized leader in sustainable architecture and design. Each project is uniquely conceived and attentively advanced. Our proficient technical knowledge and project management always strive to realize exceptional value and architectural quality. Projects and experience range in scale and scope, and include residential, cultural, and commercial architecture, master planning and urban design, multi-media and public art, private gardens, and special features. Paul Raff Studio consistently produces exceptional work that is thoughtful, evocative, and poetic.

Reich + Petch Architecture and Design

The team at Reich + Petch asks questions. Lots of them. We involve clients in the creative process and welcome ideas that enable us to translate their visions into imaginative, interactive environments.

Formed in 1987, Reich + Petch is an international, interdisciplinary design firm. We are inspired by opportunities that allow us to create spaces that are meaningful and engaging. We are driven by the need to explore, innovate and shape environments that excite the senses and make an emotional connection with both visitors and clients.
Reich + Petch invents timeless solutions.

Superkul Architects

The firm has a broad portfolio of project types, ranging from garden design and single-family housing to medium size commercial / institutional work and master planning. While diverse, all of the projects we undertake share an attention to detail and material at both the large and the small scale, a thorough engagement of the clients and stakeholders involved, and a profound connection of our buildings to their built and natural contexts.

Teeple Architects

Teeple Architects Inc. has built a reputation for innovative design and exceptional service. Some examples of Teeple Architects Inc.'s exceptional work are the following awards; Governor General's Medal (Chemical Sciences Building, Trent University), Governor General's Medal (Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church), OAA Architectural Award of Excellence (Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church) and the SAB Award (Langara College Library and Classroom Building).

Ziedler Partnership

Eberhard Heinrich Zeidler, OC, O.Ont (born January 11, 1926 in Germany) is a Canadian architect. He studied at the Bauhaus-University Weimar, Weimar, Germany, and the Technische Hochschule, Karlsruhe, Germany.

Zeidler immigrated to Canada in 1951 and formed his first partnership with Blackwell and Craig of Peterborough, Ontario. He later went on to create a new firm, Zeidler Roberts Partnership/Architects in Toronto, and offices in Calgary, AB, Vancouver, BC, Victoria, BC, London, Berlin, Beijing, China, Abu Dhabi, UAE and West Palm Beach, Florida.

More prominent projects by Zeidler's firm include:

Toronto Eaton Centre shopping mall and offices, 1977-1981 with Bregman + Hamann Architects, Toronto, Ontario

McMaster University Health Science Centre, 1972, Hamilton, Ontario

Ontario Place theme park, 1967-1971, Toronto

Walter C. Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre, 1975-1986, Edmonton, Alberta

Yerba Buena Gardens, 1980-1984, San Francisco, California

redevelopment of the Queen's Quay Terminal, 1979-1983, Toronto

Canada Place for Expo'86, Vancouver, British Columbia

I believe the above list represent the finest Toronto-area architectural firms, however, if any readers know of other top shops that should be included, please email me (via "joetrainor (at) dherendering.com") or post your suggestion as a comment below.

Thanks kindly,


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