Baird Sampson Neuert architects is committed to excellence in design of the built environment and sustainability of the natural environment on which we all depend. The firm’s long standing interest in civil society and the design of public spaces and institutions has led to a corollary commitment to the integration of buildings with their landscapes and surrounding environments. BSN has established itself as an innovator in the allied fields of urban design and architecture in Canada. Both its built and planning work consistently demonstrate dedication to the enrichment of public life and culture through all scales of design. As a result, it has garnered many major awards as well as recognition in international publications and exhibitions for an unusually wide array of projects.
The firm has unique capability to conduct research and provide innovative solutions in response to unique projects, site conditions and objectives. The firm’s body of work also demonstrates a fundamental commitment to acting responsibly and holistically with regard to issues of social purpose, economic value, technological performance, and cultural context, both local and international. All the firm’s projects, which include cultural and educational facilities, residential developments, and public spaces, have been developed from the perspective of “integrated design”. This conceptual approach treats each building and landscape environment as a “system of systems”, and integrates all aspects of design, combining skillful functional planning to meet program requirements with high environmental performance to suit user and operational needs while minimizing the ‘environmental load’ of the project to the greatest extent practicable.
The firm’s long standing commitment to improving the quality of built and landscape environments for the benefit of their users is reinforced by more recent design and research efforts advancing sustainable building technology and practices. The innumerable awards the firm has received for a broad array of projects, from public institutions to public spaces, include recognition for its work in advancing “green design”. Erindale Hall at the University of Mississauga, which received a 2006 Governor General’s Medal has also been recognized for improving contexts, by a Mississauga Urban Design Award, and for its full funding under Canada’s Commercial Building Incentive Programme for energy efficient design. In 2005, BSN received two Canadian Architect Awards of excellence, the French River Visitor Centre and for Thomas L. Wells School, which also received a 2006 “Green Toronto Award”. The originality of the firm’s work within the Canadian context and its engagement with broader issues of architectural culture and society has also spurred interest abroad. Cloud Gardens Park, which received a Governor General’s Award and a Canadian Architect Award, was included in a major book, published in Europe in 2004, surveying important new public spaces from around the globe. The firm recently was invited to participate and has won a design competition for a new public space for downtown St. Louis and its involvement, along with Will Alsop, in a housing project in Toronto has been featured in the New York Times.