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Raw talent


raw design is one of the most vibrant new architecture studios on the international scene. Co-founded by award winning architects, Roland Rom Colthoff and Richard Witt (formerly design partner and senior design architect respectively at Quadrangle Architects). raw design arrives with a high-profile list of clients and a breadth of experience that extends beyond the threshold of other local practices.

Included in raw design’s roster of high profile projects is the eagerly anticipated Cube on College Street in Toronto (designed by Rom Colthoff and Witt while still at Quadrangle Architects). Working with innovative developer Jim Neilas, Rom Colthoff and Witt have made Cube one of the most exciting schemes on the hot Toronto condo market. The building sold out in two hours. Each apartment in the building is unique including some double height units that together form a dynamic yet urbane composition as a complement to the trendy Little Italy neighbourhood. Banking on a good fit, Neilas and raw design are planning other main street developments in some of Toronto’s hottest neighbourhoods, the first of which will launch later this spring.

raw design offers a design sensibility unencumbered by cultural preconceptions and a proven track record in producing significant and iconic structures. Shortlisted in the international competition for the Absolute in Mississauga, their design (Rom Colthoff & Witt while at Quadrangle) envisioned a sixty storey tower “tube” structure featuring an innovative series of sky-gardens providing green space and bio-filtration of make-up air. Intended as an urban icon for Mississauga, it won the attention of many design publications.

raw design is excited to be master-planning The Tannery in Kitchener, a massive mixed use conversion project that will create a unique landmark and destination for new economy businesses and residents. The conversion of 400,000 sq ft spread over two full city blocks of turn of the century mill structures will create a vibrant new mixed use community and revitalize the city core.

raw is committed to design excellence. This commitment is central to their unique design methodology which includes a collaborative workshop process drawing on the fresh talent and ideas of all staff in a studio that is guided by the founding directors, but owned by all employees. Their exceptional design has already won raw several significant commissions including the new flagship Mini dealership in Toronto. Building on the runaway design and sales success of BMW Toronto and Lexus Dubai (designed by Rom Colthoff while at Quadrangle) MINI will riff off the cool sophistication of BMW with a funky colourful assemblage of elements.

Each project at raw evolves from a careful analysis of site and context. Continuing work for Davies Smith Developments includes ONYX to complete the block originally begun by CityGate in Mississauga (designed by Rom Colthoff & Witt while at Quadrangle) and Ironstone which raw design will launch this spring. Ironstone will feature geothermal and solar thermal heating and cooling systems and provide a new sense of urbanity in Burlington’s uptown core. ONYX and Ironstone show how raw can create buildings of significance and urban response appropriate for every location.

raw design director, Roland Rom Colthoff, says, “Toronto is undergoing a transformation. We are actively involved in creating the new urban landscape drawing from international experience and influences and driving a dialogue that will shape our environment for the future.”


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