PARTISANS and Nine Yards Studio receive the 2020 Emerging Architectural Practice Award

The RAIC has officially announced that two firms have been selected for the 2020Emerging Architectural Practice Award:  Toronto-based PARTISANS; and the Charlottetown’s Nine Yards Studio.

The RAIC Emerging Architectural Practice Award was established to recognize the achievements of burgeoning practices for the quality of their built work, service to their clients, innovations in practice and public recognition. Eligible firms need to be practicing and licenced in Canada, and they can be no more than 10-years-old.

Founded in 2017 by architects Silva Stojak and Shallyn Murray, Nine Yards Studio (9Y) is a multidisciplinary design studio that works with clients at all levels of the design process. Their name demonstrates a commitment to the many facets of design and truly defines the philosophy that great design can and should enhance the surroundings of their community in Prince Edward Island.

The firm’s founders and principal architects, Stojak and Murray—both together and as individuals—have been advocates for the architecture profession and for fostering positive development in the community. They have both served as committee members on the Architects Association of PEI (AAPEI) Board and Silva served as the President of this organization from 2016-2018. Both partners act as mentors to intern architects in the community and are committed to the education and training of architecture students that are circulating on their work-term curriculum every semester. Last year, they created the ‘Nine Yards Studio Scholarship’ at the Dalhousie School of Architecture for master’s students who show a commitment to their community.

“The jury felt that Nine Yards Studio’s submittal revealed an admirable dedication to the community through the promotion of architecture, craft, and design which is uniquely representative of the place in which they live and practice.,” said the 2020 jury in a collaborative statement. “The quiet elegance of their work is rooted in the context of Prince Edward Island. At the forefront, the realizations of the studio are extremely playful within a critical discourse. The studio is an active leader in the profession through their work with BEAA (Building Equality in Architecture, Atlantic).”

PARTISANS is an award-winning Toronto-based architecture studio that specializes in the integration of design and technology, invention and programming, and culture and creative services. Founded in 2012 by Alex Josephson and Pooya Baktash—and later joined by Jonathan Friedman in 2014—the firm is guided by the spirit of one idea: the freedom to design.

PARTISANS works across scales, programs, and types—from the design of objects and furniture to single-family homes, restaurants, hotels, high-rise office buildings, multi-unit residential buildings, affordable housing, transit stations, and urban visions. Their strategic decision to forgo programmatic or typological specialization comes from the importance that they place on both innovation and partnerships.

Using advanced digital modeling and rapid prototyping technologies, as well as hand-drawing, photography, and sculpture, they mobilize a range of unique methods to combine thoughtful design with technological innovation and context-specific solutions. These practices help hone goals and aspirations while ensuring high fidelity to the concept all the way through to implementation and construction.

“The firm’s projects are original, powerful, and evocative. Capable of thinking at all scales from interiors to city planning, the works speak to a vision for the future that is free-minded and innovative,” said the Jury. “Outspoken advocates for the quality of architecture as a social vehicle is evidenced by the beloved spaces they have crafted.”

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 Conference because of the COVID-19 pandemic, PARTISANS and Nine Yards Studio will be honoured as award recipients at the RAIC 2021 Conference on Architecture in Montreal.

The 2020 jury:

  • Diarmuid Nash, Moriyama & Teshima Architects (Chair of the Jury)
  • Rami Bebawi, KANVA, Quebec
  • Pat Hanson, gh3, Toronto
  • Jessie Andjelic, SPECTACLE, Calgary
  • Omar Gandhi, Omar Gandhi Architect, Halifax
  • Shelley Craig, Urban Arts Architecture, Vancouver