David McRobie is the founder and president of McRobie Architects + Interior Designers Inc. A 1973 graduate of the McGill School of Architecture, his professional development began in 1974 at Sankey Partnership Architects, a national architectural firm, working in its Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver offices, before becoming a partner in 1979. By opening its office in Ottawa, David foresaw opportunities in the national capital region, in public transportation, government sector growth and private sector commercial development. In 1989 he took over the Ottawa operations and renamed the firm David S McRobie Architects Inc.
A licensed Architect in Ontario and Quebec and member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, David has distinguished himself as a design communicator, mentor to young architects and effective manager of the firm’s resources ensuring consistent high quality in the delivery of DSMA’s services. Under David’s guidance, professionalism, integrity and fairness in dealing with clients, consultants and suppliers have been and continue to be hallmarks of McRobie Architects + Interior Designers Inc..
There are many reasons why this is an exciting time to practice architecture, including the emergence of seamless computer technologies for communication of ideas to our clients, greater awareness of sustainable practices for protection of the Earth’s resources and the introduction of new and better performing materials for our buildings. The world needs more problem solvers and the design professions represent the best hope for our future.
William joined the firm in 1981 shortly after the office’s founding in Ottawa and quickly rose to job captain for the firm’s urban design portfolio. A graduate of Carleton University’s architecture program in 1977, William registered with the Ontario Association of Architects in the mid-1980s and went on to become the Ottawa office’s first Associate and later, Vice-President. William has been an active promoter of the profession from his earliest days: first as Treasurer for the Regional Society of Architects and lately as the Regional Co-coordinator and mentor for the RAIC Syllabus Program.
His involvement with the profession stems from his earliest exposure to the built environment. Although it was growing up during the late 50s and early 60s with the then-emerging Modernist Movement that sparked his interest, it has been the adaptive re-use of buildings that has been the thrust of his professional life. From this has come an understanding of historical building systems, experience in the re-use of space and structure, familiarity in the application of life-safety measures and care in the management of resources.
Architects are extremely privileged to practice their profession. As leaders of a complex activity, architects are entrusted with their clients’ resources and producing an uplifting result. In addition, architects must respect the concerns for those not part of the process but who will be nonetheless affected and, particularly in the realm of renovation, for the contributions of those before.
James graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from Carleton University in 1983 and joined McRobie Architects + Interior Designers Inc. in 1989 during the transition of the predecessor firm. James has been responsible for the planning and design of many of the firm’s significant office, retail and industrial projects as well as high-profile interior work at Ottawa’s Nortel and Skyline campuses. With his extensive knowledge of construction techniques and understanding of sequencing, he has successfully applied his considerable design capability to the straightforward realization of his clients’ visions.
Great buildings result from the commitment and dedication of the Client and the Architect working together to a successful outcome – successful in realizing the collective vision. It is this relationship between the Client and Architect that we seek in all the work we do, regardless of scale.
The catalyst for Tony’s career in architecture came at a young age through construction site visits with his father, who worked for a local construction company. In 1986 Tony graduated from Algonquin College with his Architectural Technician Diploma. Tony joined McRobie Architects + Interior Designers Inc. in 1996 and in 2005 became a member of the Ontario Association for Applied Architectural Sciences.
Tony’s involvement in projects includes the management of construction document production and construction contract administration. Tony has also taken on the management and implementation of the office electronic data systems.
My goal with each new project is to ensure that our client receives a building that is architecturally relevant and one that performs from an operations perspective. Teamwork and dedication on the part of the entire design team is a key factor in reaching this goal.
Jill earned a Bachelor of Architecture from McGill University in 1996 and began her career in Paris. After gaining experience on commercial, care occupancy and mass transportation projects in Ontario, she attained her license with the Ontario Association of Architects in 2004 and joined McRobie Architects + Interior Designers Inc. in 2005. Jill is a LEED Accredited Professional and recently became a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
Jill is enthused by architectural opportunities to fill in our urban fabric, revitalize old buildings, improve the ways we travel and reach new sustainability goals. Her favorite McRobie Architects + Interior Designers Inc. project presented plenty of these opportunities:
Working on the initial study for Ottawa’s new light rail system was fascinating. I enjoyed looking at our city on a large scale, examining how our public spaces function and considering the technical challenges posed by 13 km of rail in established urban areas with a tunnel carved through the bedrock under downtown’s existing buildings.
Motivated by an interest in visual arts and physics, Eric pursued studies at Carleton University and completed his professional degree at the University of Waterloo, graduating with a Master of Architecture with Commendation in 2009. Having joined McRobie Architects + Interior Designers Inc. in 2009, Eric participates in all stages of projects with a focus on the early design phase where he produces 3D models and renderings. In his design work Eric looks for a balance of artistic expression and the constraints of building materials. This focus is echoed in his personal artistic explorations:
I spend much of my personal time immersed in the world of visual art and science. I am an avid painter and I rely on these interests to explore scale and space through the juxtaposition of colours and geometry.
Ian studied at Carleton University and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1997. After two years of working in Ohio on large infrastructure projects he joined McRobie Architects + Interior Designers. Having been inspired by its strong lines and simple elegance, Ian names the “International Style” as a key source of design inspiration. When asked about his favorite DSMA project Ian replied:
The Ashbury College Boys’ Residence presented a unique opportunity. I enjoyed working with a client who has a high standard of design expectations. There were numerous regulatory challenges as well as concerns within the community which had to be addressed. Although it was an involved process – sometimes requiring us to re-visit the first principles of the design – the result is a building of exceptional quality and character which blends into the neighbourhood while providing a dramatic gateway to its community.
Rachel joined McRobie Architects + Interior Designers in 2016 upon the completion of Carleton University’s Master of Architecture program. Having grown up in the Detroit-Windsor region of Southwestern Ontario, she was granted a unique exposure to the architectural styles of the American Industrial City. Her interest in the juxtaposition of industrial architecture and modernist style continues to influence how she envisions the potential growth and rejuvenation of a city without the loss of the culturally rich structures that helped shape them.
Rachel is currently in the process of completing the Ontario Association of Architect’s Intern Architect Program and actively participates in a project’s early design phase through the production of working drawings and 3D visualizations.
I am truly inspired by urban transformations that aim to incorporate a city’s built heritage with contemporary program. Adaptive reuse is not only a sustainable approach to urban growth, but provides the community with a visual link to a region’s cultural past.
Ryan’s first sight of a Toronto skyscraper initiated his desire to design buildings. He graduated with a Masters of Architecture from Carleton University in 2010. Much of his work during university was focused on tall buildings and vertical cities. He joined MCROBIE Architects + Interior Designers in 2010 and is currently completing the Intern Architect Program with the Ontario Association of Architects. His work at McRobie Architects + Interior Designers Inc. has focused on concept design and 3D visualization with a recent involvement in construction administration. Given his love for the verticality of architecture his sources of design inspiration are not surprising:
A large part of my inspiration is futurist architecture (Neo-futurism/Lebbeus Woods). Much of this stems from a love of science fiction, sci-fi film, graphic novels and concept art. Abstract and imagined worlds have qualities outside the constraints and limitations of our own.
Johanna attended the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba to earn a Bachelor of Interior Design in 1987. She secured her National Council for Interior Design Qualification accreditation in 1988 and is a long-standing member of the Association of Interior Designers of Ontario and the Interior Designers of Canada. In 1993 she joined McRobie Architects + Interior Designers Inc..
Johanna was drawn to interior design through her love of colour and an interest in how people interact within their environment. She cites nature as her design influence as it presents an ideal model from which to gain inspiration. Johanna describes how her skills are applied to her Interior Design projects:
I love to design our clients’ workplaces to be logical, efficient and fluid. I relish organizing and communicating our clients’ requirements. On corporate projects I become immersed in their company, how they work and how best to apply this knowledge to the design of their space.
Diane handles many of the day to day operations at McRobie Architects + Interior Designers Inc. with a calm competence that keeps things running smoothly for the whole team. Since joining the firm, she is enjoying her interaction with the creative people and processes involved in shaping the communities and skylines of the Ottawa area.
David obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Calgary in 1989. He has acted as Controller for McRobie Architects + Interior Designers Inc. since 1989. David’s oversight of financial reporting is pivotal to the growth and success of the firm.