Connect Communities, a transitional residence for those recovering from Acquired Brain Injuries or Stroke, implemented a new treatment model in Ontario that assists their residents in a life redesign process. This treatment program’s traditional barrier-free code requirements be creatively avoided or hidden where possible, creating a definitively residential environment. The care facility belies its formal identity to fit within the scale and persona of the residential community it which exists. Boasting 42 bedrooms and ensuites, communal living areas connected by amenity spaces and offices, the facility is complemented by a tangible connection to the landscape and thoughtful access to the surrounding community. A treatment room includes consideration for flooring and equipment as well as a ceiling mounted patient lift to assist in client rehabilitation and fitness programs. Care was taken to provide both privacy to the clients in the treatment room, but also provide views out to the protected conservation lands outside.
The building sits on a slab on grade foundation that respects the protected karst geology beneath. A compressed approvals and construction schedule was aided by a pre-engineered steel structure that is prefabricated and assembled on-site in large panels – saving time, ensuring tight construction tolerances and increasing safety on the construction site.
This twin pad arena reached LEED Silver status and is to date the most energy efficient facility owned by the City of Hamilton. Designed to meet current recreational needs, it is fully accessible, exceeding Ontario Building Code requirements. DPAI partnered with rdh architects, leading the site planning and site plan control efforts. The master site plan involved the relocation of two soccer fields, the preservation of the existing single pad arena, and accommodating a proposed Ministry of Transportation highway interchange. DPAI also participated in the design, construction documents and LEED certification process. The facility houses two full-size hockey rinks, one with year-round ice, and elevated seating for 900 people. Warm viewing areas of the rinks on both levels were integrated in the interior design, along with 12 change rooms, 4 referee rooms, a multipurpose room, meeting rooms, a pro-shop and a large central atrium.
DPAI is an architecture, interiors and urban design studio based in Hamilton, Ontario. The purpose of our practice is to create sustainable work environmentally and socially.
Our practice approaches sustainability through a holistic lens, ranging from environmental design to sustaining our communities.
Our mission is to Shape the World. We combine a holistic design approach with people-first sensitivity; always maintaining focus on the end-user experience.
Our values are more than catch phrases. They are the guiding principles that inform each decision and inspire our design and project management approach. They guide and empower us as architects, designers, partners and collaborators in our quest to create functional and accessible spaces for those who inhabit them.
The construction and operation of buildings has a huge impact on the carbon footprint of humanity. The way we plan a community is a determining factor in the health and well being of its inhabitants. We fulfill our mission by choosing to create a positive social, economic and environmental impact through our work.
Our portfolio includes award-winning projects across multiple sectors and range in size from feasibility studies, master planning, urban plans, interior renovations and new builds. Our diverse experience affords us the ability to combine ideas from disparate areas to create novel solutions to complex design challenges.
This Fortune Global 500 company with about 600,000 staff worldwide engaged DPAI as prime consultant to design a state of the art, modern facility consistent with their brand; one that would reinforce their innovative and strategic position in the marketplace, amalgamating two offices into one centralized location over two floors (60,000 sf) in St Catharines, ON. The project’s mandate created synergies, reduced redundancy and accommodated our client’s rapid growth, while providing spaces that would attract and retain the best talent. A variety of meeting spaces with video conferencing abilities, collaborative spaces, event spaces, yoga studio, innovations showcase, reception, cafe with a fully equipped cafeteria style break area, games room, mother’s and wellness rooms, prayer room, all gender washrooms, universal and barrier-free washrooms, training centre, admin and support spaces were provided.
Ripple is a mixed use residential tower proposed to redefine the existing contextual fabric of the site and work integrally with the future park planned for the block immediately to the south of the property.
The building defines a complete edge of the future planned John/Rebecca park, and is designed to create a visually compelling organic backdrop to its activities. The mass of the building is divided into a mid-rise portion on the west and a tower portion on the east which are formally tied with continuous cantilevered balconies around each floor. The curvilinear balcony guards establish a formal horizontality composing the façade as a natural landscape.
The ground floor is transparent allowing direct connection and flow of the commercial uses into the future park. The space immediately outside of the commercial spaces is generous to provide significant opportunity for outdoor patio and retail spaces during favourable weather conditions. These activities will help to activate the north edge of the park with continuous activity. Further emphasizing the connection is proposing transforming Rebecca street into a “Woonerf” condition, where curbs would be eliminated, allowing the building edge to meet a continuous plane of the public space into the park.
The development includes 313 dwelling units, 205 parking spaces on two underground and one above ground levels, 13,000 sf of leasable commercial space, and rooftop amenity spaces. Vehicular circulation for the site has been designed away from the woonerf by designing access via Catharine Street for all vehicles entering the site for parking, loading, deliveries, or garbage removal.
The renovation of the Hamilton Public Library was conceived as a design-driven opportunity to spur sustained urban renewal. A 96-meter long, continuous glass vestibule with LED lighting re-establishes the building’s relationship to York Boulevard, while the interior renovations are geared towards elevating the library’s functionality and increased public access to creative and communications technology.
Since 1980, Hamilton Public Library + Farmers’ Market have shared the same building but have been awkwardly disconnected from one another and from York Boulevard. The renovation and expansion helped re-brand and re-connect both institutions and the street. This connection enhanced functionality and improved circulation and accessibility. The ground floor of the library was completely renovated, and an addition provided space for the introduction of an information commons. Remodeled children’s areas with aquarium, a new reading room with fireplace, and green wall are amongst the new programmatic elements. The design facilitates the introduction of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology into the library, transforming the traditional service delivery model into a contemporary merchandising approach. The Hamilton Public Library is one of the most notable buildings in Canada and has received excessive media attention, as well as multiple prestigious international and national awards like the International Architecture Award – The Chicago Athenaeum of Architecture and Design, the “Best of Canada” Best Institutional Interior, the Ontario Library Association Award of Excellence, the Ontario Association of Architects Award of Excellence and others.
“I have worked with many architects on many projects; this project was the first time I found myself letting go, confident that our hopes and visions for the building were being heard and were being translated into a workable plan combined with an amazing AWE factor. Use of the building skyrocketed and has remained high ever since the transformation performed by David and his team.”Former Chief Librarian Ken Roberts Hamilton Public Library
This office renovation provides a new home for the property managers of Jackson Square indoor shopping mall, a 40-year-old commercial complex is located in Hamilton’s city core. The existing space was composed of raw concrete and block, initially planned to be a restaurant but was never developed. The space is comprised of two distinct portions, a lower one overlooking the plaza, and double height space towards the back. By carefully reviewing existing drawings dating back to the 1970s, a blocked-in clerestory window was discovered. Opening and reactivating this feature transformed the quality of the space.
The client shifted from a private office model to an open plan design. The program included a private meeting space, board room, visible reception point with access control and gathering area. The space was designed to have the communal and public functions facing the plaza, with the private office functions occupying the double height space in the back. The open plan office is symmetrically laid out with desks installed against the existing concrete block walls. The bright red Jackson Square brand colour is strategically placed throughout the space on furniture upholstery, linear acoustic panels and in the alcove on the back wall. Baltic Plywood panelled walls and millwork provide warmth and bring natural elements to the space..
The King William Performing Arts District Concept Plan proposes the creation of an integrated, multi-use district centred on Theatre Aquarius with a mixture of performing arts, retail, commercial and residential uses bringing vibrancy to the area and sustainability to the Theatre, while connecting the district to other parts of downtown along King William Street. This study was commissioned by Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton’s premier professional theatre company with performing arts facilities located on King William Street in downtown Hamilton. As a cultural anchor, the Theatre draws more than 100,000 visitors a year to its facility, contributes more than $12 million dollars in direct economic benefits to Hamilton each year. The study was undertaken with partner CivicPlan.
As with many cultural institutions, the long-term sustainability of the Theatre requires proactive planning to ensure its ongoing success. In addition to proposed expansion of the institution, DPAI examined existing limitations on the Theatre’s ability to grow as a destination in the downtown. After reviewing local by-laws and plans and consulting with representatives from the performing arts community, neighbourhood, the City of Hamilton, and local post-secondary institutions, DPAI produced a proposed design concept of the district.
The Ted Rogers School of Management expanded their ability for diverse, experiential learning with the Classroom of the Future. The space was conceived as a flexible, non-hierarchical, non-directional prototype classroom that can be used as a lecture hall, study space, student lounge and a presentation venue.
The space is designed around four custom soft geometrical saturated orange seating pieces, with dimmable ceiling fixtures constructed from arrays of closely spaced LED lighting strips and clad in a translucent stretch acoustic fabric. Additional seating is provided in two areas for laptop use, while soft blue seating cubes are distributed throughout the space for varied seating options. The room also features multiple short throw, interactive projectors that cast images onto three walls, offering ultimate flexibility in viewing angles. The lecturer can roam about the space with a wireless microphone and remote for changing the projected images. A state of the art, centrally located, omnidirectional speaker ensures high sound quality in all parts of the room. Students can remotely receive
Originally built in 1836, 169 King Street East is a three-storey commercial warehouse in the oldest known standing row of buildings in Toronto. The building is most recognized for housing the Daily Leader newspaper, a driving economic force in the mid-to-late 19th Century. A former restaurant, the second-floor space became home to a full-service public relations agency. The existing interior space contains a glass encased steel stair with timber treads, exposed original brick walls, original operable windows, a slanted interior window, double height ceilings complete with skylights and an original working steel hoist beam. The space provided a textured, timeless, minimalist palette that both architect and client agreed to emphasize. A custom blackened brass light fixture creates an intimate plane and is suspended above reconfigurable lounge furniture. Suspension was made possible by an original hoist beam that after a bit of gentle persuasion, smoothly relocated to allow for perfect positioning.
The City of Welland Fire and Emergency Services has commissioned DPAI to design a new, 1,835 square metres (19,755 sf.), sustainable energy facility to serve as their new Fire Department Headquarters Building. The new facility is a one-storey structure comprising an Administrative & Training Building (Main Building) and an Operations & Equipment Area (Apparatus Area). It is anticipated that the new facility will be constructed to achieve 45% improvement over the minimum energy efficiency levels conforming to “Model National Energy Code for Buildings”.
The design of the building incorporates high-performance doors, windows and building materials, durable and low maintenance building finishes in addition to high performance mechanical & electrical systems.
The new building is divided into two main areas or portions, each of which could aim at different levels of energy efficiency. The main building is intended to exceed 45% the energy efficiency levels conforming to NECB 2015 and the apparatus area is intended to meet energy efficiency values as mandated by OBC 2012 (or latest revision).
We fulfill our mission to Shape the World by choosing to create a positive social, economic and environmental impact through our work. Passive House is considered the most rigorous voluntary energy-based standard in the design and construction industry today. Passive House buildings consume up to 90% less heating and cooling energy than conventional buildings. Applicable to most any building type or design, the Passive House high-performance building standard is the only internationally recognized, proven, science-based energy standard in construction. Certification with the Passive House Institute ensures that designers and consultants are qualified to create buildings that meet the standard.
Petra Matar and Mike Mazurkiewicz are certified Passive House Designers. David Premi, and Jamie Schneider, have also completed the 120A: Passive House Design and Construction course covering the technical, economic and political elements of Passive House buildings.
In 2013, Dr. Robert Fitzhenry donated generously to the School of the Arts (SoTA) for a new addition and interior renovation to the existing studios and classrooms at Togo Salmon Hall. The objective was to engage community practitioners, alumni, faculty, staff and students in the design process to understand what the needs, potentials, and caveats of the project would be. The new addition provides vastly expanded floorspace and amenities for more equipment-intensive media — printmaking and sculpture — including facilities for lithography, etching, and silkscreen, as well as wood- and metal-working, and one of Canada’s few remaining metal casting facilities housed in a University fine arts facility. Once-windowless studios for upper-year students have been expanded, and flex-studio and new media facilities balance the use of traditional media with an understanding of the shifting nature of creative practice with the emergence of new tools. Gentle north light pours into the interior of the double-height painting studio and the addition of a 25’x25’x25’ glass-enclosed atrium (“the Cube”), provides a powerful interior environment for critique, exhibition and performance. The SoTA’s new urban prominence has strengthened connections with other faculties so that art students can offer their unique perspectives to engineering and humanities students, and vice versa. Because of urban connections at two levels, the highly transparent “Cube” is now in frequent demand as an event space on campus, while broadly showcasing the work of students and faculty members during both working critiques and final exhibits.
“It has been a pleasure to work with DPAI on our art studio expansion and renovation project at McMaster University. DPAI’s friendly consultation throughout the process was effective and much appreciated. They applied their expertise to our unique demands, arriving at aesthetically dynamic solutions for a complex network of work spaces. The result is a functionally and visually cohesive space.”Professor Judy Major-Girardin McMaster School of the Arts
Balance your life.
We understand the lasting impact that buildings and cities have on people and the environment, and we embrace our responsibility to leave this world better that we found it. Our mission is to Shape the World. That starts with our people.
By providing our team with a flexible, hybrid work environment centered on trust and collaboration, the essence of our work culture is balance. We understand that everyone has unique circumstances, so we remove barriers and provide accommodations that allow our team to thrive personally and professionally.
As we look to the future of our growing firm, we are seeking a like-minded, values-driven, licensed (OAA) Architect to join our team. DPAI works with clients across multiple sectors, and our ideal candidate is an intrinsically motivated leader, adept in managing high-profile public and institutional projects.
In addition to competitive salaries, vacation time, flex time, RRSP contributions, health benefits, and hybrid work locations, DPAI has a robust onboarding process. All new employees get a designated “buddy” and are welcomed with a little gift – a succulent that we encourage you to name. By joining the DPAI team you can also look forward to additional perks like an additional day off for your birthday, fresh fruit in the lunchroom everyday, access to our quiet/prayer room, annual team trips and regular social events! We also have an internal staff engagement app and offer facilitated growth to our team through professional development and continuing education support.
Learn more about us at: www.dpai.ca
David is regarded as a community leader in his hometown of Hamilton, ON. He serves as a board member for the Chamber of Commerce and is the former chair of the Hamilton Arts Council. David’s advocacy led to the establishment of a Design Review Panel in Hamilton.
Throughout his 30-year career, his focus has been on elevating the language of design, its place in the community and its relationship to city building—an approach that’s typified by an OAA Award of Excellence, and a Chicago Athenaeum Award for the design of Hamilton Public Library and Farmer’s Market.
Patty is a Principal of the firm, and a Registered Interior Designer with ARIDO who brings more than 16 years’ experience in the architecture and interiors field. Since joining DPAI over 8 years ago, she has made invaluable contributions to the firm’s growth with the development of a flourishing interiors division within the corporate commercial, institutional and healthcare design sectors.
Patty is motivated by people engagement and relishes the relationship-building aspect of her profession. She gains inspiration through her values-based approach, the stories people tell.
Inclusive design is the root of Patty’s approach, advocating for equitable participation by every community affected by the design process. Her process is open and transparent. Through open dialog with her clients and people she meets, she adds these important conversations about inclusion and what that means to the design process, especially for those who have been marginalized.
Patty is an exceptionally warm and insightful person, a talented and innovative designer, and a passionate leader. She has been instrumental in strengthening DPAI’s business operations and motivating our people to move forward with confidence and purpose.
Petra Matar grew up in Dubai, UAE, and graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a degree in Architecture. She joined the firm in 2011 shortly after her graduation and has worked on a wide range of project types including institutional, commercial, residential, and urban design projects.
Petra is passionate about good design in all aspects of a project from its management to the end product delivered. Petra’s approach to work is highly organized both in process and presentation. She guides all her projects with a clear road map that helps everyone involved visualize the process and participate in it. Her work is marked by clarity in visual communication and good aesthetic.
As a Passive House Certified Designer, Petra brings this knowledge into projects she works on with the aim of designing a good product for the client, community, and the environment.
She is also a practicing visual and installation artist who values creativity and seeks beauty in everything she makes. Her work has been featured at Supercrawl and in several group and solo shows in Hamilton, Dubai and Sharjah. She is also a graphic designer with extensive self-taught knowledge in art direction and branding.
Benita is an artist and musician who writes and performs in the group Persons. Originally from Ottawa, ON, she studied fine arts at Concordia University in Montreal, where she specialized in textiles, printmaking and video art. Benita moved to Hamilton in 2014, where she co-founded Casino Artspace. She has a passion for group fitness and can be found teaching classes at the YMCA.
Pablo holds a master’s degree in Urban Design from the University of Toronto, and received his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. He has over 20 years of experience managing a wide range of projects throughout all phases of design and construction – from site planning, programming and schematic design to detail drawings and contract administration. Pablo brings a wealth of knowledge about building codes and accessibility standards as well as extensive experience working with municipal authorities throughout all phases of approvals.
Pablo was drawn to Hamilton’s authentic character and urban grit as well as DPAI’s urban renewal work. In his spare time, he can be found at film festivals, music concerts and soccer games. He can also be spotted going for long nighttime runs to keep his creative energy flowing.
Jamie is DPAI’s Senior Architectural Technologist with a passion for all things BIM (Building Information Modelling). During the last 15 years, he has worked in England, New Zealand and Canada. Most recently, he worked with a leading design firm in NZ and had the privilege of collaborating with some of the best architects and technologists in the country. There he helped transition the team from traditional CAD to BIM while gaining experience working on many award wining projects. He has been busy implementing and refining our advanced BIM processes, many that were being utilized overseas already, into our project workflow. Jamie has a stellar track record of successfully meeting deliverable targets, receiving positive feedback from clients and end-users.
Originally from Jordan, Ala grew up studying ancient cities such as Petra and Jerash. The intricate spaces created by ancient civilizations sparked her imagination, and at a young age realized the impact of great architecture. Today, she enjoys exploring different possibilities with space, materials and colours. As an architect, she aims to create something beautiful for people to live, interact with, and forever remember.
Ala received her B.Arch from Petra University in Jordan, and her M.Arch from the University of Waterloo. She is a passionate photographer, traveller and enjoys reading and writing poetry.
Aasiya's fascination for art and architecture sparked from having lived in various cities of the world. Originally from India, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the Measi Academy of Architecture, India, and a Master's in Sustainable Architecture from the University of Sheffield, England. Prior to joining DPAI, she worked with firms both in India and the Middle East on several high-rise residential, commercial and institutional projects. Her focus in design is to create social, interactive spaces that foster well-being.
Aasiya is an advocate of eco-conscious practices and is trying to implement them in her daily life. She wants to explore the ideas of sustainable and responsible travelling and a lifestyle of minimalism. She is a passionate nature lover, enjoys creative writing, reading, hiking and exploring the city.
Sofia is a marketing and business development professional with over 12 years experience managing strategic campaigns and branding initiatives, primarily within the public sector. As a born and raised Hamiltonian, Sofia graduated from McMaster University with an Hns. BA in English and Fine Art. Sofia started her career in conservation, leading the events and business development efforts for the organization. After contributing to a significant roster of major ecotourism and culture-driven initiatives, Sofia made the move to a GTA municipality where she acted as the marketing lead for the Arts and Culture Division. Now, back in her hometown, Sofia brings her passion and creativity to DPAI.
Sofia is continually seeking adventure in the outdoors and always has a story to share about a place she visited or an interesting person that she met. Among her may hobbies, Sofia also plays and coaches several sports and enjoys expressing her creativity through sewing and textiles.
Cecilia is an experienced financial manager and is exceptionally skilled at strategic growth planning and improving profitability. Prior to joining the DPAI team, Cecilia worked for notable e-commerce and retail brands such as Cleo and Carters OshKosh. With her warm and upbeat nature, Cecilia exemplifies the people side of finance and enjoys the teamwork and camaraderie that comes with her role. Cecilia is deeply devoted to her family and cares immensely for her community and supporting cause-driven initiatives. She has both planned and participated in large-scale fundraisers for organizations such as the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Breast Cancer Society and Diabetes Association, to name a few. In her daily life, Cecilia is always considering ways that she can give back, be it making regular donations to her local library or participating in regular blood drives.
Born and raised in Hamilton, Kaley graduated from McMaster University with a combined honours B.A in Art History and Cultural Studies + Critical Theory before pursuing a career in design.
After completing a Bachelor of Interior Design from RSID, she began her career working on a variety of multi-family residential developments, hospitality, and commercial projects – always striving to create spaces that are both functional and beautiful.
Kaley loves to travel and is always excited to explore new cities - seeking out art, design, and food wherever she goes.
Gladys is a graduate from X* University (previously known as Ryerson University), who has a keen interest in new trend material research, and is passionate about exploring design on a multidisciplinary level. Gladys is eager to learn and apply emerging knowledge and technologies into influencing the process of design as a whole. Having working experience in both Toronto and Hong Kong, Gladys’ design philosophies are often influenced by the fast pace evolution of urban cities, which often sparks conversations and independent research on the need for material permanence in modern architectural languages.
Alifa is an artist and designer who graduated from University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies. She is happy to be back working in her hometown of Hamilton. Before DPAI, she worked in Vancouver and Toronto architecture firms assisting on residential, commercial, educational, and urban design projects. She endeavors to use architecture to tell a story of a place and the people who belong to it.
For fun, Alifa enjoys expressing her creativity with illustration, animation, and tiny sculptures.
Alex is an Intermediate Interior Designer with over 8 years of professional experience on projects across North America. She has worked at some of Toronto’s top design firms and possesses a breadth of project knowledge from luxury hotels and residences to retail and restaurants, and beyond. Creating meaningful spaces that push the boundaries of design from overall concept to nuanced details is paramount to her design aesthetic. Alex incorporates inspiration from her love of travel and exploration through art, culture, fashion, and food into her work.
Mike’s ongoing objective is to understand and produce well-conceived and well-constructed projects. With experience across institutional, single-family and multi-unit residential, and public art projects, he revels in detail resolution. As a Certified Passive House Designer, he has enthusiasm for passive design strategies and alternative or provocative approaches to sustainability.
Mike holds a Master of Architecture from Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University) where he was named to the RAIC Honour Roll and received funding for a term program in Vienna. His graduate thesis, Enclosure as Metaphor, treated the building enclosure as a cultural artifact and was awarded the OAA Guild Medal.
On Sundays he makes French toast and runs the Rail Trail, Bayfront, and Dundas Valley.
Sebastian is a passionate and driven Senior Architect with a keen interest in enriching our built environment and enhancing the human experience. Having worked for over 15 years in the architectural profession, Sebastian’s design and management experience includes projects that range from emergency services, offices, health care, civic, hospitality, residential, and mixed use.
Sebastian holds a Professional Bachelor and Master of Architecture degree from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). He remains actively engaged in architectural education and mentorship, teaching as a Sessional Instructor at Sheridan College Architectural Technology in the design studios and acting as a guest critic at student presentations.
A proud father with a unique sense of humour; Sebastian’s passion and creativity continually inspire him to design buildings that enrich lives and foster community.
The Gore Block Mixed Use Development overlooks Gore Park in Hamilton’s central downtown core. The proposed development, located at 18-22, 24 and 28 King St. East, will revive and preserve this historical landmark with leasable retail space on the main level with an upper 5 storeys reserved for office space. The development also plans to feature publicly accessible outdoor space and an internal courtyard, contributing to the vision of a pedestrian-friendly downtown.
The proposed structural system is Mass Timber, a rapidly renewable resource. Through high performance envelope design, and innovative mechanical and electrical systems, the intention of the development is to meet the performance criteria of a Net Zero or near-Net Zero building. Access to an underground parking garage will be located on the alleyway behind the building.
The proposed project considers the preservation and renewal of the 4 designated heritage façades that frame the south side of Gore Park. As the most intact historic streetscape on Gore Park, the conservation of the façades will preserve the history and character of these notable buildings. Extensive conservation has been, and continues to be, undertaken by a team of heritage specialists to restore original elements and integrate the façades into the new structure.
DPAI has worked with Hamilton’s City Council, staff, and respective to arrive at a design that best serves the community and satisfies the client.
The Centurion apartment building is a rare example of the private sector building designed to Passive House standards. This 9 storey, 73 unit development will add needed density to the former Town of Dundas. The design incorporates natural limestone into the facade, taking cues from the historical Town Hall across the street. Fenestration patterns are sympathetic to the tradition of industrial warehouse architecture in the immediate area. In addition to the design of the building, DPAI prepared the Urban Design Brief.
Collaborating closely with the Owner, RDH Building Science, and the Construction Manager, DPAI is leading the consultant team in the Integrated Design Process. RDH, acting as PassiveHouse facilitators, have led a series of charettes, information sessions and working sessions to ensure that the energy targets are met in the most cost-effective way possible. Our discussions dive into the granular details to minimize thermal bridging and window openings, and to optimize mechanical systems. The air barrier is being carefully detailed to accommodate the underground parking and garbage room, which are being designed outside of the airtight enclosure, similar to the way apparatus bays will be treated in a Fire Hall.
The Fibroblast Tower is concept designed to begin the healing process of a natural ecosystem, the Niagara Escarpment. Seen as a barrier, the residents of the City of Hamilton have attempted to conquer this World Biosphere Refuge by scarring its surface with roads, paths, and funicular railways to overcome travel challenges. The result is a dysfunctional relationship where the escarpment has become a symbol of the City’s political and environmental shortcomings.
The Niagara Escarpment is both a connector and a divider. It connects land and water, nations, urban and rural environments along its length. It provides a conduit for wildlife. The breadth of the escarpment divides the environments above and below, creating a barrier for travel and movement of goods.
The Niagara Escarpment is a UNESCO designated World Biosphere Reserve and is heavily protected from further damage caused by roads, ski areas, resorts, railways, buildings, and wind farms. The continuity of the Escarpment in Hamilton has been breached by several vehicular access points that connect the upper and lower city. The most drastic of these rifts is where the six-lane high speed highway known as the Claremont Access intersects with the older “Jolley Cut”. This has become a hostile environment where pedestrians, hikers, cyclists and wildlife are threatened by forced interaction with vehicular traffic. These man-made arteries deny the natural movement and erosion of the escarpment rock, wreaking environmental havoc on fragile ecosystems.
The Hambly House is a rare example of 1930s Streamline Moderne architecture in Hamilton, and one of only a handful of Art Moderne houses in Ontario. Since the purchase of the house by its new owners in 2012, dpai worked with the clients to design a full restoration with an additional second storey wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass. The renovation respects the original character and detailing of the designated heritage house while celebrating its contemporary spirit with a bold addition. The interior has been completely refinished and clean, minimalist custom millwork was designed throughout the house. The dining room addition at the rear opens the house to the backyard and celebrates views of the 300-year-old maple tree.
2015 Award of Excellence in Architecture, Hamilton Urban Design and Architecture Awards
Mohawk College’s new Centre for Health Care Simulation at the Institute for Applied Health Sciences (IAHS) located at McMaster University, houses over 25,000 square feet of integrated clinical lab space and supports over 2,000 full and part-time students per semester. The centre is an inter-disciplinary learning environment enabling students to develop field and clinical skills as part of an inter-professional team. Students demonstrate skills and competency using technology enhanced simulation, paired with a simulated patient program.
DPAI designed the various space types to support and align with the IAHS vision and saw the multi-phased projects through to completion. The project includes a new ultrasound simulation lab, cardiovascular technology lab, accessible testing centre, computer and silent study lab, integrated and collaborative resource library (which includes a new service hub, a large anatomical model display case, various collaborative and solo study areas, small meeting rooms, brain storm area and study lounge), staff workroom, research lab, point of care demonstration lab, an expanded nurse clinical tutorial lab and two new ADL (apartment simulation) labs.
"I was impressed on many levels with the DPAI team. They are professional, responsive, respectful and did a very good job of engaging all the stakeholders in the process. They were flexible and accommodating to the changing scope and requirements of the project. The space has been transformed from a 20 year old traditional learning environment to a modern, energetic and creative space that attracts students from all across campus."Paul Armstrong, Vice President Academic Mohawk College
As a public institution, the new Helsinki Central Library is both representative of Finnish society today, and acts as an incubator for the evolution of the culture. It is not only a place where information is consumed and digested but also a forum for the creation of cultural content. The Library is a connector and provides a point of interface between Finnish Culture and the world. It is a symbol of the richness, diversity, and dynamic nature of the country. The mass of the building is elevated above a continuous plaza surface which extends infinitely into the fabric of the City, through the country, and beyond, thereby connecting Finland with the world. The “underbelly” of the building directly addresses the ground surface, providing a direct interface. The face of the underbelly (the inter-face) is clad entirely in a system of glass and LED light slats.
The main mass of the building has been formed through surrender to the forces at play: the presence of the Parliament Buildings, the views, the sun, and the program. The result is a sculpted form with varying percentages of clear glazing, acid etched glazing and titanium clad spandrel panels which exhibits interplay between solid and void, transparency and opacity, not unlike a block of ice as it is eroded and changed by the elements.
Part of the space created below the inter-face is enclosed program space, and some exterior public space. The boundary between these realms is transparent and meandering so as to be insubstantial. The interior spaces are very public in nature: main entrances to program above, café, exhibition, lounge, shops, and flexible performance space.
The University of Toronto’s Food and Ancillary Services wished to realize five unique, proprietary food concepts on campus. Three located at the Medical Science Building and two at Sid Smith Hall. DPAI provided a full-scope of architectural services for Stone Oven Pizza, a pizzeria inspired by simple, fresh ingredients; Soup!, a soup bar inspired by Andy Warhol’s pop art; and Not Just Greens, a salad bar designed to showcase the importance of local, organic greens and ingredients in everyday nutrition. The design for Tortillas juxtaposes authentic southwestern culture and industry while Gourmet Burger House at Sid Smith Hall is inspired by the hot gourmet food truck trend. Elements of note include custom pop art boxes designed by DPAI, bicycle taxidermy, custom industrial lighting and stunning custom designed steel, live edge and acrylic panel service counters. The service counters were designed and built to last; the live edge wood and undulating butcher block counter wrap at the pizzeria serve to lend warmth to the space and unify all five food concepts. This renovation raised the bar for design for food services on campus.