WZMH Architects is committed to the pursuit of design excellence delivered with exceptional technical competency. Based in Toronto, we have been providing innovative and effective solutions for clients for over five decades; in Canada and Overseas
At WZMH Architects, our fresh approaches to problem solving are encouraged and rewarded in our design studio. This philosophy has motivated us to constantly adapt, evolve, and reinvent ourselves to produce architecture that is contemporary, relevant, and meaningful. Our aim is to create timeless places that harness the full potential of their site and benefit the people who will use and experience them.
The Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Partnership was established in 1961 by four associates of the iconic Canadian architect, Peter Dickinson. After Peter’s untimely passing, and with commissions to complete for Izzy Sharp of Four Seasons Hotel and Kenneth Rotenberg of Y&R Properties, our new firm was founded and went on to design its first modernist landmark projects in Toronto. Through the 1960s and '70s, we designed such iconic buildings as the CN Tower, the Royal Bank Plaza, and multiple signature office buildings in downtown Toronto and Calgary. Through the 1980s and '90s, WZMH’s work followed its clients, expanding into the USA, the Middle East, and China.
After 58 years and renamed as WZMH Architects, the firm has evolved from its modest roots to a global force in architectural design, with a showcase of buildings in every large Canadian city and many throughout the world.
Fresh approaches to problem solving are encouraged and rewarded in our design studio. This philosophy has motivated us to constantly adapt, evolve, and reinvent ourselves to produce architecture that is contemporary, relevant, and meaningful. Our aim is to create timeless places that harness the full potential of their site and benefit the people who will use and experience them.
Our studio has a culture of openness, inclusivity, and collaboration. Our project teams are structured specifically for each assignment to ensure a dynamic combination of design, technical, management, and leadership skills that best serve the needs of our clients and their projects. Our principals and leadership team support our staff’s commitment to their work by providing challenging project opportunities, and by offering a variety of professional development programs, as well as social activities. We are very pleased that since 2015, WZMH has continuously been honoured with the Canada’s Best Managed Companies Award.
Fostering and maintaining strong relationships with clients and consultant teams is our priority on every assignment. We believe that a collaborative approach, with all participants working closely towards a common goal, will result in the successful delivery of the project for our client. Our firm’s management is an integral part of this process, and we assign two principals to oversee each project from start to completion. We are committed to quality results not only through the provision of ample and experienced staff for each project, but also through high standards for project documentation, as supported by a rigorous internal peer review.
RESEARCH, CONCEPTS, AND PROVEN RESULTS
WZMH Architects conducts innovative design research initiatives that we believe will benefit the practice of architecture and improve our built environment. Often these initiatives evolve in collaboration with industry partners and, when viable, are realized in built form. Recently, we completed studies on prefabrication in the Canadian construction industry, which led to our design of a modular site construction office complex for a major hospital, currently under construction.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT CASE STUDY
For a recent project, WZMH developed a concept for a unique undulating ceiling comprised of a series of vertical planes or “fins.” Located in a highly public area, the fins needed to be visually substantial yet light weight, as well as durable and easy to clean. We explored prefabrication to make the units easy to construct and install, and to be cost-effective. WZMH worked with product manufacturers to create a series of prototypes in order to evaluate a variety of materials and assemblies in meeting these criteria.
WZMH offers complete architectural services in a range of project sectors. We have over 55 years of experience in providing a successful combination of design, technical, and management services in site feasibility, concept design, design development, contract documents, contract administration, and post-occupancy evaluation.
Our interior design work covers multiple sectors, overseen by an experienced team of accredited designers. Our firm’s core expertise in architecture informs and enhances our ability to develop fully-integrated solutions where the interior and exterior design of the building work in concert with one another.
WZMH works both locally and internationally to develop master plans in a range of project types. We have extensive planning experience and a proven ability to navigate the issues of complex large-scale sites, such as integrating servicing, parking, and traffic into sites with multiple uses.
At WZMH, we champion the goal of creating sustainable environments and have been responsible for over 13 million square feet of LEED-Registered or -Certified buildings, including many Platinum and Gold projects. Anticipating a carbon-neutral future, WZMH has designed a net-zero energy use data centre north of Toronto.
BUILDING INFORMATION MODELING
WZMH is committed to providing state-of-the-art Building Information Management (BIM) services. We use BIM in conjunction with other 3D visualization software to develop our designs and better facilitate project coordination, cost control, and communication. Our staff receives ongoing BIM training and consultation with industry leaders to ensure that we are consistently up-to-date on this technology.
WZMH uses a variety of current software applications to enhance the user experience of project designs as they develop. From 3D-printed models to virtual reality (VR) experience to video sequences and aerial drone surveys, we offer our clients full exposure to their projects while still in development.
WZMH Commitment to Innovation
WZMH is researching prefabrication concepts for both residential and commercial buildings with materials and systems already used for many years in construction. We are currently developing concepts for washroom and kitchen components within hi-rise residential suites. Our vision for the use of an Intelligent Structural Panel (ISP) in new construction has met with enthusiasm by leaders in the industry. The ISP includes a sandwich plate system that can be used for floors and walls in lieu of conventional structural elements such as reinforced concrete or steel decking —but with the added benefit of containing the building’s “intelligent infrastructure.” Components, such as mechanical or electrical, that would be traditionally installed after the structure is in place are now part of the ISP. The panel is fabricated off-site with skilled labour, installed on site with minimal labour, and is 100% complete once “plugged” in.
At WZMH we are convinced that prefabrication is the future of construction in Canada —built in controlled environments, prefabricated building components yield benefits such as precision and productivity gains, life-cycle and waste reduction, reduced costs, and schedule savings. Our designs for the conversion of shipping containers into office and retail units have already been successfully built and are in use for several clients in Southern Ontario. A modular office building at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus (UTM) will be a demonstration of the potential to achieve design excellence with prefabrication.
Since 1961, the work of WZMH Architects has been recognized nationally and internationally with over 150 awards.
Contact us, to see what we can design for you.
Toronto, Canada and International
WZMH Architects | Nova Scotia Power Corporation
95 St. Clair Avenue West, Suite 1500, Toronto, Ontario M4V 1N6, Canada