RAIC announces inaugural Young Architect Award-winner

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Taymoore Balbaa, MRAIC, OAA, M.Arch, B.Es, Prix De Rome, LEED AP, is the first winner of Architecture Canada’s Young Architect Award. Images © Taymoore Balbaa.

Architecture Canada’s first Young Architect Award has been given to Taymoore Balbaa, MRAIC, OAA, M.Arch, B.Es, LEED AP, for his excellence in design and leadership, and service to the profession.

“I am honoured to be the inaugural winner of this award, and humbled by the suggestion that I am a role model for younger architects,” Balbaa told Construction Canada Online. “Above all, it was the jury’s assessment of my career trajectory that is most encouraging.”

Balbaa said it is an interesting feeling to be the first winner of the prize, and he feels the value of the award will not diminish over time.

“This is certainly a good initiative undertaken by RAIC/Architecture Canada,” he explained. “It sends a clear message that young architects have a place in the architectural culture of the country. Though I feel there should be more opportunities for young architects, and more faith placed in their abilities, it is positive to shed light on other designers’ visions and viewpoints, especially when less experience excludes those voices from the ‘tried and true’ climate which unfortunately dominates the profession in Canada.”

Balbaa holds two degrees from the University of Waterloo—a bachelor of environmental studies and a master of architecture degree. He took pre-professional architecture training in the Universitá Gabrielle D’Annunzio in Italy, and is a licensed architect with the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), and in the European Union with the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE).

In 2005, Balbaa was named the inaugural winner of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners—an achievement that brought him to Spain, West Africa, Greece, and Egypt. Last year, he became a founding partner of Atelier3AM, a multi-disciplinary firm actively engaged in the crossing of design and research. Since 2006, he has been the principal of Taymoore Balbaa Design Studio (TABA), and has worked on various projects, from libraries and housing to cultural centres.

In choosing Balbaa, the jury said it recognized “his impressive early achievements in the profession” and that he is an “exciting young architect with exceptional potential.”

The jury also commented his “professional focus and capability is impressive—he has consistently demonstrated an interest and ability to combine architectural practice with teaching, research, and exhibition. Mr. Balbaa is quickly emerging as a significant contributor to architecture, both in Canada and abroad.”

Balbaa will be presented with his medal during the Presidents’ Dinner and Awards Gala next month.

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Last year, Balbaa became founding partner of Atelier3AM. The firm, along with Jason King Associates, designed this ski jump in Oslo, Norway.
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