Donald Chong, Betsy Williamson, and Shane Williamson

Emerging Voices 2014
Williamson Chong Architects
Recorded: March 20, 2014
Running time: 51:57

Founded in 2011 and led by Donald Chong, Betsy Williamson, and Shane Williamson, Toronto-based Williamson Chong Architects prioritizes “context, materials research, economies of construction, building performance, and client-based collaboration” in their work, which ranges in scale from furniture to master planning.

In 2014, The Architectural League named Williamson Chong Architects an Emerging Voice. The annual Emerging Voices award spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism. Each year, winners are invited to participate in the Emerging Voices lecture series.

In their presentation, Chong, Williamson, and Williamson discuss the significance of their Canadian context, advanced digital tools, material investigations, and variety of scale to their practice. The firm’s use of “leftover” spaces to intensify the fabric in urban contexts and landscape integration in rural contexts, as well as an interest in strengthening community through design, are demonstrated in such residential projects as Galley House, Blantyre House, House in Frogs Hollow, and Grange Double Dwelling, as well as the master plan for the 441-acre Abbey Gardens site.

More information about the 2014 Emerging Voices, including an interview with the principals of Williamson Chong, is available at


Both Shane and Betsy Williamson received their M.Arch. degrees from Harvard University. Donald Chong received his B.Arch. from the University of Toronto. All three have taught at schools of architecture in Canada and abroad, including the University of Toronto, where Shane Williamson is currently an associate professor and Betsy Williamson a lecturer. Recent recognition for the firm includes the Professional Prix de Rome from the Canada Council for the Arts, the IDS 212 Gold Award, a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence, and an Ontario Association of Architects Design Excellence Award, one of many for the House in Frogs Hollow.

Visit the 2014 Emerging Voices online feature for more on this year’s winners, and see the complete list of past winners here.