© Greg van Riel
The founding principals of Altius met as young and idealistic architecture students and formed a strong bond at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, drawn by their belief that no established firms were practicing architecture as they envisioned it. Altius was launched over 20 years ago, in 1998, and we have made Liberty Village our home ever since. Our first home was the Boiler Building behind One Atlantic (pictured below). We moved a block north to the former Barrymore furniture factory (109 Atlantic) in 2010.
Central to our founding principals’ philosophy was the tradition of the master builder, and this idea still forms the foundation of much of our studio work. Much more than the mere creator of blueprints, the master builder considers and takes responsibility for all aspects of the project. Each one—planning, architectural design, interior design, landscape and construction—is executed as one part of an integrated, harmonious whole. Though we have since expanded and matured in our vision, this founding conviction has strengthened our practice through over 20 years of design-build experience—rare in the world of architecture.
With the strong level of architectural involvement we focus on, it possible to create spaces that are not just beautiful, but enduringly liveable, sustainable, and contextual and beautiful. As a significant bonus, our extensive experience makes the entire process much more seamless and rewarding for you, the client. Taking a strong central role in projects, often acting as construction managers as well as architectural designers, our principals and associates ensure that your project integrates modern architectural practice with a strong traditional understanding of building.
Early on, in 2007, we were selected by the Ontario Association of Architects to receive the prestigious Best Emerging Practice Award, in recognition for our design strategies and entrepreneurial spirit. Since our early days, as continued to we mature in our practice, our clean contemporary design, emphasizing craftsmanship and materiality, has resulted in a number of award winning and critically acclaimed projects.
With over 20 years of experience, at Altius, we embrace new ideas such as modern design, sustainable practice, energy efficiency, and fun and creative ideas, while balancing them out with extensive building experience, and a breadth of understanding which is rare in our field. Our history ‘boils’ down to our true specialty here at Altius Architecture, which is happy clients and good quality buildings.