Profile

Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe are partners as well as collaborators. They have created a firm and a life around their shared passion for architecture, landscape and furniture. Their interest in the construction and fabrication of buildings, sites and their intersections has forced them to question fundamental relationships between object and ground, building and landscape, man and nature. Though their backgrounds and sensibilities are very different, their similar education and architectural journeys together offer a rich starting point for their work.

Upon graduation, Brigitte apprenticed for Arthur Erickson in Vancouver and Baird/Sampson Architects in Toronto. She began her teaching career at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Architecture & Design in 1988, and is currently a tenured Associate Professor there, actively engaged in the design life of the school. She is also an active member of the international design community, participating in numerous international, national and local design juries, helping to bring attention to exemplary design in many communities.

Howard’s belief in the potential of architecture to simultaneously communicate subtle and powerful ideas formed early in his career. Immediately following graduation, he immersed himself in the making of architecture. He contributed to the studios of Ronald Thom, Barton Myers and Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg, working on international and national competitions and built projects, including the acclaimed Kitchener City Hall. In 1991, Howard Sutcliffe was the inaugural recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts Ronald J. Thom Award for Early Design Achievement and has set a high standard of accomplishment for this unique national design award.

Shim-Sutcliffe’s completed work includes the Integral House, Corkin Gallery, Weathering Steel House, Muskoka Boathouse, Craven Road House, Laneway House, House on Hurricane Lake, and Garden Pavilion and Reflecting Pool. Each project responds to its specific site conditions, and seeks to investigate new relationships between exterior and interior. Their current work is increasingly engaged with the public realm with significant institutional projects including a synagogue for the Congregation Bet Ha’am in Portland Maine, the permanent installation of the African Collection for the Art Gallery of Ontario and a new residential complex and chapel for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Toronto.

Shim-Sutcliffe’s projects have won local, national and international recognition and awards. Their built work has been exhibited internationally and been published throughout the world. They have been honored with eleven Governor General’s Medals and Awards for Architecture from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada along with design recognition from the AIA, American and Canadian Wood Council’s awards program.

Brigitte and Howard have also been actively engaged at the scale of furniture, winning numerous international accolades for furniture design. After much research and design development, The HAB Collection, a series including chairs and tables, is currently in production and will be distributed throughout North America.

Two publications, Shim-Sutcliffe, The 2001 Charles & Ray Eames Lecture, from the University of Michigan, and Integral House, the 2006 Martell Lecture at the School of Architecture, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, have also been dedicated to Shim-Sutcliffe’s process and built work. Both publications demonstrate an on-going commitment and delight in the process of realizing ideas into built form. The Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal has been collecting Shim-Sutcliffe’s drawings and models in their archives for the last decade.

Through their diverse design practice, Brigitte and Howard continue to seek sophisticated solutions to each design problem they face. Each project embodies their commitment to an architecture that is powerfully connected to site, to a continual interpretation of program, and constant innovation in detail resolution.

Awards

2010
Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor
General Medal for Architecture for The Corkin Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.
Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor
General Medal for Architecture for Craven Road Studio, Toronto,
Ontario.
Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor
General Medal for Architecture for the Ravine Guest House, Toronto,
Ontario.

2009
Recipient of a 2009 Wood Design Award -
Citation Award for The Integral House, Toronto, Ontario

2006
Recipient of a 2006 Wood Design Award -
Award of Honour for The Craven Road Studio, Toronto, Ontario.

2004
Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor
General Medal for Architecture for Muskoka Boathouse, Lake Muskoka,
Ontario.
Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor
General Medal for Architecture for Weathering Steel House, Toronto,
Ontario.

2002
Recipient of a Toronto Arts Award for Architecture and Design. Given
by the City of Toronto.
Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor
General Medal for Architecture for Moorelands Camp Dining Hall, Lake
Kawagama, Ontario.

1999
Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor
General Medal for Architecture for Ledbury Park, Toronto.

1998
Recipient of American Wood Council, Wood Design Award Program
Honour Award for the Craven Road House, Toronto.
Recipient of a Canadian Wood Council, Wood Design Award Programme
- Residential Category Award of Honour for the Craven Road House,
Toronto.

1997
Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor
General Award for Architecture for the Craven Road House, Toronto.

1996
Recipient of a Canadian Wood Council, Wood Design Award Programme
- Residential Category - Award of Honour for the Laneway House,
Toronto.

1994
Recipient of Canadian Wood Council, Wood Design Award Programme -
Residential Category - Award of Honour for the House on Horse Lake,
Haliburton, Ontario.
Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor
General Medal for Architecture for the Laneway House, Toronto.
Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor
General Award for Architecture for the House on Horse Lake,
Haliburton, Ontario.

1992
Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor
General Award for Architecture for the Garden Pavilion and Reflecting
Pool, Don Mills.