When it comes to hot young architects, Canada has its share. From Vancouver to Toronto, this country is home to innovative, eco-conscious artists who are transforming the landscape with aesthetically daring architectural designs all over the globe.
While these architects are in the first phase of their career, they’ve managed to garner enough accolades to guarantee longevity in this competitive field.
This 2012 recipient of the Young Architect Award isn’t just interested in building breathtaking structures, she’s also dedicated to investigating the intersection of architecture and nature. Her firm, Lateral Office, which she founded with Mason White in 2003, dubs itself as an experimental architectural design firm — a description that hits the nail on the head. Lateral is known for creating structures that are a response to or even a dialogue with, the environment they are located in. It’s taking co-conscious design to the next level, while expanding the traditional idea of architecture.
The firm’s Next North is a prime example of this. A teaching/design project in northern Canada, it eschews importing southern structure and instead is dedicated to inventing new architecture that reflects the climate, resources, history, hardships and cultural traditions of the area. Below is a series of project models:
Photo: Lateral Office
This graduate of McGill University’s School of Architecture is no stranger to awards. He’s the recipient of the prestigious Canada Council for the Arts’ Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners, the McGill School of Architecture’s 2008 Wilfred Truman Shaver scholarship and the Arcop Alcan Award. Unlike most young architects who are looking toward the future, this Quebec native is interested in the past. According to Canadian Architect, Tsironis has impressed with both his deep understanding of what it takes to create structures that last for hundreds of years, as well as with his ability to imagine reconstruction and re-purposing that doesn’t sacrifice their historical or cultural context.
Photo: Canada Council for the Arts
What’s next for this young design star? His project Monuments and the Fabrication of New Identities – Architectural Transformations and Erasures in Post-Soviet Cities will explore cultural identity in relation to modern ruins. Though this project focuses on cities an ocean away from Canada, the research garnered will hopefully help Tsironis further understand why the historical churches in Quebec have shifted away from being important social and cultural hubs.
No one can accuse 5468796 Architecture of hiding in the shadows. This Winnipeg firm comprised of five young architects surprised the design world when it nabbed a top prize at the Governor-General’s Medals for Architecture for its Bloc_10 walk-up apartment building. The firm seems to specialize in taking everyday structures like office and apartment buildings and pushing the interior layout and the balance between private and communal space, in bold new ways.
According to an article in The Globe and Mail, its winning building, which looks like your standard modern fare from the outside, is, upon closer examination, actually a 10-unit Chinese puzzle expertly conceived in such a way that each unit has a unique layout and yet not one suffers from a lack of light or space.
Photo: 5468796 Architecture
The firm’s project Migrating Landscapes (curated along with Jae-Sung Chon) was selected as Canada’s official entry in the 2012 Venice Biennale in Architecture; a huge honor for a firm that’s only been around for five years.
While this short-list of exciting architects is only the tip of the iceberg, it proves that Canada is a country to watch when it comes to thoughtful, cutting-edge architecture and reconstruction.
By Megan Mostyn-Brown
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