JA Architecture Studio

JA Architecture Studio | Wardell, Toronto, Canada, in progress. Image courtesy JA Architecture Studio

The Architectural League’s annual Emerging Voices program spotlights North American architects, landscape architects, and urban designers who have significant bodies of realized work and the potential to influence their field.

JA Architecture Studio is a 2022 Emerging Voice.

JA Architecture Studio is a Toronto-based practice led by Iranian-Canadian architects Behnaz Assadi and Nima Javidi. The studio’s work emphasizes light wood frame construction, geometric experimentation, and vernacular form. From the narrow plots of Toronto’s Queen West neighborhood to large-scale international design competitions, JA Architecture Studio employs a “one-to-one” process, defined by Assadi and Javidi as a design approach shaped through “the physical register of immigration, of being slightly off from the context that you aspire to fit within, struggle with, and eventually change.”

Projects include:

  • Bore-ing Lightness, a finalist proposal for the Canadian pavilion at the 2020 Venice Biennale;
  • Wardell, a curved, brick-clad addition to an existing string of row houses in Toronto;
  • Forno Cultura, a cafe and bakery on the site of a former mechanic’s garage in Toronto.

Behnaz Assadi holds an MLA from the University of Toronto and a BFA from the University of Tehran. She is currently an assistant professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

Nima Javidi holds an MArch from the University of Tehran and master’s degree in urban design from the University of Toronto. He is currently the 2021 Gwathmey Professor of Design at the Cooper Union. Prior to joining the Cooper Union, Javidi taught at the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

JA Architecture Studio has received numerous recognitions from Canadian Architect, as well as a Progressive Architecture Award from Architect Magazine.