What is it that distinguishes modern architecture, and why has it gained such traction in home design? There is a lot of creativity and innovation within modern architectural principles, yet, even so, there are tenets that guide the style. Some of the primary tenets are the use of clean lines (especially vertical and horizontal lines), a lack of ornamentation, minimalism of materials, the incorporation of industrial materials like concrete and steel, the preeminence of functionality, an emphasis on order and technology, a preference for open floor plans, and thoughtful use of angles and materials to maximize natural light and frame attractive views.
Over the past few decades, more and more homes are being built with modern architectural principles in mind, and many existing homes are being renovated to adopt this style. There are several reasons for this. Not only does modern architecture provide visually restful minimalism for our often overcrowded lives, but also the principles that govern modern architecture lend themselves to high functionality (think energy efficiency and smart technology) and reduced expenses (both in terms of smart home design and in terms of economical materials).
If you want to select the best modern architect for your custom home or whole home renovation in Toronto, there are a few steps you should go through to vet your prospective architect partner. Starting with word-of-mouth recommendations is always smart since friends and neighbours have tangible results for you to view and personal testimony of working with a particular architect.
Beyond this, you should also research an architect’s online reviews and whether or not their work has garnered recognition within the wider professional community through awards and through belonging to a local architect association. For example, we at SevernWoods have been recognized as premier Toronto builders by receiving the BILD award six times for our renovations and custom homes. A reason for our success is due to our proud partnerships with premiere Toronto architects that help turn your dream home into a reality. Depending on your vision and goals, we’re happy to provide a short list of suggestions for an excellent architect to create the plans we will execute on your behalf. That said, part of the joy of building custom homes is partnering with new architects and designers who introduce their fresh and inspiring perspectives. If you've got a favourite architect, we'd love to meet them. If you're an architect interested in connecting with us, we'd be thrilled to connect.
Other awards to look for include the “Best of Canada” design competition, the Ontario Association of Architects People’s Choice Award, NOW Magazine’s Toronto’s Best Design Firm Reader’s Choice, the Canadian Architect Award of Excellence, and more.
At SevernWoods, we have personal experience successfully partnering with many outstanding modern architecture firms, and we love the fresh inspiration a new architect injects into a project.
One of the biggest trends we’re seeing in modern home design is a desire for green or sustainable design. Some architects specialize in green design, including sustainable, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly designs. If your new home must include sustainable design, here is a list of some popular Toronto architecture firms:
Altius Architecture - Years of experience, a seamless process, a commitment to quality, and a deep understanding of sustainable practices create outstanding homes.
Dubbeldam Architecture and Design- Winner of many Best of Canada awards, and fresh off their Best of the Year win in 2022, Doubledam creates timeless and environmentally responsible residential spaces in Toronto.
Paul Raff Studio - Balancing proven practices and innovative techniques set Paul Raff Studio apart. This collaborative and creative team designs healthy, environmentally-friendly homes.
Solares Architecture - Sustainable architecture also considers future costs. Solares builds beautiful, energy-efficient Toronto homes.
Stone’s Throw Design - Stonesthrow Design, Inc. is a leading architecture and interior design firm that specializes in creating timeless and elegant spaces. Their team of talented designers and architects works closely with clients to understand their unique vision and bring it to life through thoughtful and innovative design.
Want to do your own research? Organizations like Passive House Canada offer certifications for architects and designers and you can see a list of their members here.
Eager to see inside a modern home created by a top Toronto architect and an award-winning builder? This BILD award-winning home in Rosedale was built with highly durable materials, including brick, painted aluminum, glass, and extruded terracotta. A masterpiece of modern design, this home utilizes clean lines to showcase natural materials with a layout created to fit perfectly into the surrounding landscape.
On the home’s inside, you’ll find a celebration of materials like sandblasted Eramosa limestone, veneered walnut, dark iron spot brick, distressed European oak, and a steel screen designed according to the Golden Mean. This stunning home is the result of a collaboration with KPMB Architects, one of our absolute favourite architects to work with in Toronto Please note that in complex builds like these that utilize high-end materials, it’s advisable to involve the builder early for successful communication and collaboration with the architect. Don’t hesitate to contact us when you’re ready to consult on your modern home renovation or custom home build.
To help you get started, here is a list of some highly-qualified Modern Architecture Firms in the Toronto area.
Taylor Smyth Architects - A long list of accolades tell the story of the last 20 years of Taylor Smyth Architects' accomplishments. Serving both residential and commercial markets, these are skilled architects for modern design.
Willamson and Williamson Architects - Stunning modern residential and commercial architecture is a passion for Williamson and Williamson Architects. This academically connected and high-end firm receives frequent awards for good reason.
Altius Architecture - We spoke about them as fantastic architects for sustainable homes, and we recommend Altius just as much if you're designing a modern home.
Superkül - They are absolutely as cool as their name implies. Clean, modern design at its best. These artful spaces are full of light and lovely lines.
Dubbeldam Architecture and Design - Dubbledam Architecture and Design design gorgeous green homes and superior modern residential structures.
AKB Architects - Every aspect of AKB Architects' design sings. Marrying interior and exterior spaces with thoughtful materials and expert design, these are beautiful buildings.
Richard Wengle Architect - Richard Wengle Architect is a highly respected firm that has been designing exceptional homes for over three decades. With a focus on creating beautiful, functional spaces that blend seamlessly with their surroundings, their designs have become synonymous with elegance and timelessness.
Batay-Csorba Architects - This firm dedicates the same expert eye, curious spirit, and innovative insight in both their large-scale projects and inspired residential design.
Jillian Aimis Architect - Stunning residential spaces, expert project management, and timeless results are hallmarks of Jillian Aimis Architect's work.
Omar Gandhi Architect - With both Toronto and Halifax firms achieving award-winning results for the last decade, Omar Gandhi Architect creates distinct and diverse atmospheres.
Drawing Room Architecture - We love working with DRA. Their interior design and architectural services offer residential clients bespoke results.
Lebel and Bouliane - Lebel & Bouliane wins stacks of awards for great reason. Their thoughtful work spans from commercial to custom residential spaces.
Lieux Architects - These full-service architects are client-friendly and easy to work with. Their stunning residential designs create an impressive portfolio.