Design that works.

We believe that architecture improves lives by finding better solutions to everyday problems. We listen carefully to the needs of our collaborators to more deeply understand their motivations and goals. We are an architecture and design firm.

We Listen

DWA believes in the fundamental importance of careful listening. Our clients are our partners. It’s our job to understand their underlying needs and motivations and translate them into design that works.

We Understand

DWA believes that exceptional design is intimately connected to performance, practicality, and good results. We take pride in our proficiency. We do not propose ideas that will not work.

We Deliver

DWA provides service across every phase of project delivery. We provide detailed planning and building tools to help ensure a smooth process at every step. We follow through with thoroughness and rigour.

Our portfolio.

Spaces that work.

The stories of people’s lives unfold and cross through commercial spaces every day. Working, shopping, dining, or traveling, these places can be both a destination and a refuge and the way they interconnect deserves careful consideration in order to reach their full potential. Our experience includes full-service architectural and interiors consulting in all commercial sectors, including corporate offices, retail, hospitality and transportation projects of all scales, including mixed-use developments. This allows us to balance real-world project needs with a critical and thoughtful approach to determine the best path forward. Our experience working on both the landlord and tenant side allows us to be a valuable partner in the wide landscape of this symbiotic world.

Achieve commercial success.

Whether working with landlords, managers or developers to build speculative properties, or working to meet the needs of a specific tenant, we will help you prepare the tenant criteria and guidelines that will define a successful whole. You know the importance of location, parking, accessibility, operations, transit, community interaction, and efficiency, and so do we. We will be your firm and assertive agent throughout the design and build process, from pre-design to post-construction reviews.

Fit into your fit-out.

For tenants and business operators, our responsive approach will help you to achieve your potential in design excellence, brand consistency and the full integration of the critical systems that support your operation. Beyond matters of taste, we believe that design should both reflect your goals and help to meet them. We are invested in your success and will help make sure that your spaces for work actually work for you.

Whatever the scale, residential projects must manage successively quieter thresholds between the public world and the privacy of a home. Starting with the big picture and working down to the details of daily life, we work closely with the entire team to discover hidden opportunities and ensure that each project’s aesthetic, functional, economic and social goals are addressed in an equal and balanced outcome. This means ensuring that concerns such as transit, access, and residents’ needs are continually referenced into specific project design decisions, such as, space planning, landscaping, amenities, daylight and comfort. We act assertively on your behalf, and believe you will see the value of retaining a knowledgeable, fair and firm agent to represent your interests throughout the project.

Developing ideas.

Our broad experience in housing development projects in Canada and the UK, from small multi-unit homes (4+ units) to urban-scale, mixed use projects (200+ units), gives us the confidence to be creative in realizing the full value and opportunities in a site. We are strategic in addressing the different programming and budget needs of varied types of ownership and tenure, including rental, private purchase and social housing, and we offer a refreshing blend of design sophistication and technical knowledge to help you meet your development milestones.

Reach home base.

Home is the place where people most intimately interact with design. It takes care and empathy to come to an understanding of what will work for each individual household. We work to interpret your family’s tastes, needs and values to design a custom home as unique as you are. We want to get to know you; making sure that there is a good fit between the designer and client is the first important step in the process of building a new private home.

The spaces of public life define a city and offer a direct opportunity to positively influence lives. Civic institutions, libraries, galleries, and educational facilities often serve purposes beyond their immediate function, and their design must combine attractiveness, durability, flexibility, and sustainability in equal measure. Our carefully tailored approach to identifying and cataloguing our clients’ needs allows us to make this an organized and methodical process and we can assist you in managing the winding road leading up to your ribbon cutting.

Community building.

From civic institutions to educational facilities, every place has hidden potential that can be unlocked through engagement with the people who use it and make it unique. Our approach is cooperative, responsive and user-oriented, and we employ a detailed discovery process to develop a design that is a true reflection of your organization’s mission and mandate while fulfilling your operational needs.

Living history.

We value our collective history, but also champion proactive and cooperative solutions that negotiate between the often-conflicting interests involved in the maintenance and development of heritage properties. We know how to research, who to consult, and can communicate with preservation agencies in real-world and academic terms to assist you with heritage restoration and development projects.

We’re allied with the arts.

Cultural institutions serve as local landmarks, but there is so much beyond the spaces that visitors see. Your operational needs must be fully understood and developed with special support that recognizes this. We make an excellent partner from very early stages onwards in the preparation of plans for new work, operational refinement and fundraising. We invite your operations and technical staff to join our Workshop and assist us in building a good foundation of ideas from which to launch a bold, creative design approach.

Art works.

We have a strong background in the fine arts and can help to procure artwork, manage competitions and coordinate the installation of technically challenging pieces through our subsidiary Art Works Consultants:

Innovation is the new status quo.

In our experience, many design projects will require thinking that goes beyond the traditional scope of the narrowly defined consulting disciplines. In this increasingly interdisciplinary world of complex projects, innovation is the status quo: project scopes evolve, clients’ needs change, and old solutions become new problems. Designers, project managers and engineers may find the addition of an architect’s complimentary skill set to be of great benefit in discovering new solutions. We are an architectural practice that sees great value and potential in flexibly supporting our sibling professions in the same way that you support us.

It’s about putting together the right team.

True to the ‘workshop’ ethos, we are ready to join any team that can use our help. Give our process a try and allow us to help you to redefine your product or service. Here’s a sample of some of the types of projects we’re already assisting in:

  • Preparing working drawings, specifications, and project management support for transit maintenance projects (TTC) with leading engineering firms.
  • Capital projects, including maintenance and building envelope upgrades (recladding and reglazing) as well as roofing and masonry repairs and upgrades.
  • Sub-contracted production of working drawing packages.
  • Upgrades and functional improvements for code and accessibility requirements.
  • Support for planning applications, site plan agreements, zoning reviews and variances.
  • Support to landscape architects and urban designers with the design of small indoor facilities and structures such as canopies and pavilions.
  • Common area and functional upgrades to condominiums; reserve fund studies.
  • Loading dock and back-of-house maintenance and upgrades for all types of facilities.
  • Assistance with parking structure upgrades and functional reviews.
  • Construction and project process advice to exhibition designers.

Still not sure? Give us a call and we’ll help you to determine whether you might benefit from our services.

Leadership team.

Our advice.

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