Karp Namisniak Yamamoto Architects Inc.: Beauty and Comfort Design Expertise

Summer 2010 - Karp Namisniak Yamamoto Architects Inc. (KNY Architects) is one of Canada’s favourite architectural firms. The company works from coast to coast in the residential, commercial, industrial and institutional sectors, drawing on a history that traces back to 1957 through Architect Emeritus Robert Yamamoto. Now the dozen-member firm is led by Myron Karp and Stephan Namisniak, and it has a head office in Burlington, Ontario, plus a branch office in Brantford, Ontario.

The KNY Architects offices are home to architects, planners, engineers, managers and technologists, and include two subdivisions: KNY Project Management Consultants Inc. and KNY Interior Concepts. Constantly growing and diversifying, KNY Architects is known for designing some of Canada’s most comfortable and attractive buildings, bringing beauty and style to the nation.

Remaking a Success

One such current project is the Bristol Apartments, a $40 million project run by KNY Architects’ architectural manager, Noel Chen. Chen has been with KNY Architects for 10 years; he was a major part of the design process for this project, as KNY Architects served as the architectural firm. “It is six four-storey residential buildings. They are similar in style; they just vary on the number of units. Some have 48 units, and others have 56 units in them. There are one- and two-bedroom units,” says Chen.

The design process started in 2008 and had few challenges because this is a repeat project. KNY Architects already used this design for a project located “just across the street,” says Chen. “They are just digging the foundations for building one for this project. It will probably be completed about four years from now.”

In addition to the six buildings, there is also an on-site clubhouse with a fitness area and community room. These amenities fit into the basic idea for the complex. “The process involves pretty standard construction, but what we try to do with these buildings is create a community feel in the building, rather than a colder feeling that is present in some complexes,” Chen shares. “These designs offer a community feeling, and people come together at the community centre and can all work out together. It’s more community-driven rather than a big high-rise situation.”

To create this sense of community, the buildings are situated around the perimeter of the site, facing each other, with parking in the middle. Coordinating with Sutherland, the owner of this project, was not much of a challenge. “We’ve worked with this owner on many other projects, and we work well together, so there was nothing out of the ordinary requested or things that couldn’t be taken care of,” Chen says.

Luxury for Life

Once finished, the Bristol Apartments will join a long list of other successfully completed residential projects for KNY Architects. Some of these other residential sites include Chateau Parc North in Vaughan, Ontario, and Spencer Creek Village in Dundas, Ontario. Just as the Bristol Apartments mirror the design of another apartment community, Chateau Parc North and Spencer Creek Village are also very similar. Both of them were designed for Alterra Group, a developer in Ontario.

Chateau Parc North was inspired by nature and has 180 units. These are available in one-and-a-half rooms or two-and-a-half rooms. The facility has a stucco and pre-cast stone façade and a natural stone floor in the lobby. Amenities include a fitness room, ample sauna space, a meeting room with a kitchenette, balconies on each of the units, an energy-efficient heat pump with natural gas, and nine-foot ceilings in the condominiums’ common space.

The Spencer Creek Village has three buildings with the same floor plan and similar amenities to those of Chateau Parc North. The buildings’ exteriors are made of stucco and include stone detailing, and each lobby is laid with porcelain tile flooring. Like Chateau Parc North, each of Spencer Creek’s three buildings has a fitness room, multi-purpose room with a kitchenette, balconies on each unit, nine-foot ceilings in each unit’s common spaces, and an energy-efficient heat pump with natural gas. However, unlike Chateau Parc North, Spencer Creek’s buildings also feature a library, a business centre, a fireplace in the lobby and a terrace.

KNY Architects obviously knows what features are needed to design a building to fit a luxurious lifestyle. Viewing examples such as Bristol Apartments, Chateau Parc North and Spencer Creek Village, Karp Namisniak Yamamoto Architects has exhibited an ability to excel in architecture that considers all those in a project, and is delivered on-time and on-budget. The firm will continue receiving accolades for its impeccably designed, highly functional facilities that take into consideration all community activities and aspects, because, as the Karp Namisniak Yamamoto Architects motto says, life takes planning.