Taylor Architecture Group
Taylor Architecture Group (formerly Pin/Taylor Architects) is a small, vibrant, process driven practice with a focus on design solutions that are contextually appropriate to each specific project. Attention to detail and the importance of meaningful design related to climate and cultural considerations are critical to the success of projects in the North. Our office is located in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, with projects in communities throughout the arctic & sub-arctic regions of northern Canada.
"Canada’s far north is a land defined by extremes."
Design in the North
The environment, through light and temperature, is experienced in radically different ways over the course of the year. The wilderness is so vast, rugged, and beautiful that it overwhelms all else. Through its dominance, the wilderness gives form and spatial order to the land. The wild tightly hugs the edges of culturally diverse communities. The line between “nature” and “community” becomes less important than the interplay between the two. This interplay of otherwise polarized extremes extends to many aspects of the north; nature – community, light – dark, isolation – sense of home, new influences – tradition, All of these provide unique challenges and opportunities, which southern standards neither address nor utilize. For example, the role of a school in an isolated northern community reaches far beyond its southern equivalent. It must also act as a community center, meeting hall, feast setting, and sporting complex. To design within a northern setting is to capitalize on local extremes by recognizing opportunities within the challenges.
Sun and snow
In the north, sun and snow, through their presence or lack thereof, become the dominant features of the landscape. Above the tree line, wind moves uninterrupted across the landscape. The wind pushes snow along with it, forcing it to accumulate against anything in its path. Understanding how snow drifting will interact with a building is key to a successful project above the tree line. The sun is a commodity which must be fully utilized However, when available it will come through windows at a low angle which can cause glare. The light must often be filtered through screens or shades to become usable.