RAIC Emerging Architectural Practice Award - 2020

Nine Yards Studio (9Y) , PARTISANS,

Jonathan Friedman / PARTISANS, Tamzin Gillis, Dear Addie Photography,


The Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC) announced the two recipients of the 2020 Emerging Architectural Practice Award. They are Toronto-based studio PARTISANS and Nine Yards Studio from Charlottetown.

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RAIC Emerging Architectural Practice Award - 2020 We are particularly fond of awards that recognise young talents and emerging architects. They bring global attention to those architecture firms that have already made names for themselves in their home countries but are still little known outside their nations. The RAIC Emerging Architectural Practice Award is one of these. It was established to recognise 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 practising and licensed in Canada, and they can be no more than 10 years old. 
This year, there were two recipients of the award. Nine Yards Studio (9Y) and PARTISANS, both of which are community-focused.
Founded in 2017 by architects Silva Stojak and Shallyn Murray, Nine Yards Studio is a multidisciplinary design practice in Charlottetown, the capital of Prince Edward Island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with a satellite office in Halifax. The expression “the whole nine yards” inspired the studio’s name; the practice is committed to the many facets of design and the proposition that great design can—and should—enhance our surroundings. Nine Yards’ range of design services includes architecture, interior design, furniture design, graphic design, branding, and custom art installations. Jury Comments: “The jury felt that Nine Yards Studio’s submittal revealed an admirable dedication to community through the promotion of architecture, craft, and design which is uniquely representative of the place in which they live and practice. The quiet elegance of their work is rooted in the context of Prince Edward Island. At the forefront, the realisations 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).”
The other recipient is PARTISANS, a Toronto-based studio that integrates 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. The name PARTISANS comes from the importance the studio places on taking clear positions on architectural issues. They see architecture as a collective, political act.  The three partners share an ethos that architecture is not just the act of designing, but rather also a way of seeing, thinking, and making that expands—and even revolutionises—our experience of the world. PARTISANS works across scales, programs and types.  Their strategic decision to forgo programmatic or typological specialisation comes from the importance that they place on both innovation and the partnerships they create each time. Here are the jury’s comments: “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.  Outspoken advocates for the quality of architecture as a social vehicle is evidenced by the beloved spaces they have crafted.”
A closer look at the works of the two award-winning studios suggests their creative capacity, which we hope will also be recognised outside Canada’s borders.

Christiane Bürklein

RAIC Emerging Architectural Practice Award 2020
Nine Yards Studio (9Y)
Images: see captions
Find out more: https://raic.org

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