Babak Eslahjou

Principal
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Babak Eslahjou moved to Canada with his family when he was 20 years old. He has practiced architecture since 1986 and became a founding principal of CORE Architects Inc. in 1994.

Educated in Europe and the United States, he received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1986. His internationally influenced design expertise and knowledge of global architecture has guided many of CORE's successful residential, commercial, and institutional projects.

Babak's architectural experience both in Canada and internationally extends across urban planning, multi-residential developments, hospitality, and commercial projects. In each instance, his oversight of the project, commitment, and experience ensures the project achieves its defined goals.

His experience includes the urban planning of over 49 million sq. ft. of residential and commercial space in Dubai, over 150 residential condominium projects across the GTA, and 1,500 retail and commercial spaces for clients, including SONY, Porsche, MAC Cosmetics, Armani, Coach, Lacoste, and GAP.

An expert on the fast-paced development currently taking place in emerging urban regions in the Middle East, Babak has spoken at many venues, including the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, the Cityscape Trade Show in the United Arab Emirates, and on behalf of the Canadian Trade Commission in the Philippines and Vietnam.

Babak is fluent in several languages and his architectural photography has won several awards. He is an avid skier and swimmer, enthusiastic golfer, and crazy soccer fan.

Charles Gane

Principal
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Charles Gane was born in Niagara Falls but grew up in Toronto. He studied at Carleton University and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1983.

Charles practiced architecture in Ottawa for several years before eventually returning to Toronto where he worked at Zeidler Roberts Partnership from 1986 until 1994 when he became a founding principal of CORE Architects.

His keen interest and leadership in architectural design based on advanced materials research, new technologies, and systems performance has been instrumental in establishing CORE’s reputation as an innovator in the design of well-performing buildings.

Charles has years of experience taking projects through the regulatory system and has worked with many private clients and developers to achieve attractive, creative design solutions. Charles has been leading CORE’s design efforts in the rejuvenation of King West with award winning designs for Fashion House, Seventy5 Portland, Six50 King, Five Hundred Wellington, and 12 Degrees.

His love of jazz is echoed in his improvisational design aesthetic where he interprets architectural styles in individualistic ways within the context of a given typology.

Charles is an avid snow boarder and enjoys spending time in the wilderness canoeing, camping, or at his custom designed cottage on Georgian Bay.

Deni Poletti

Principal
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Deni Poletti studied architecture at the University of Toronto and received a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1986. As a founding partner of CORE, Deni’s commitment to excellence has played a leading role in establishing the office’s high standards of architectural design and on-time, cost-effective project delivery.

His extensive experience with urban issues and development has been sought after in both the public and private sectors in Canada and the U.S. He has been instrumental in expanding the office’s portfolio both nationally and internationally.

Deni has been an invited participant in competitions for such projects as Public Squares sponsored by the City of St. Louis and Porsche for the design of a U.S. East Coast Regional Headquarters in Atlanta.

He has been a speaker at the American Planning Association conference in Chicago, Urban Planning Conference in Washington, D.C., and other Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) and American Institute of Architects (AIA) chapter conferences.

Deni’s extensive portfolio includes mid and high-rise residential complexes, retail, hospitality, entertainment, fitness centres, and single family residential projects.

His Italian heritage has blessed him with an appreciation of fine food and wine. An avid sports enthusiast, he is both a participant and dedicated fan, particularly of golf, tennis, and soccer. He has traveled extensively with memorable trips to Tokyo and Istanbul bringing a very international flavour to his architectural design.

Earl Mark

Partner
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Earl Mark graduated from McGill University in 1999, and in the following year, he began his career at CORE. He has been an active contributor to the growth of the office and has helped deliver many projects with the high level of excellence from both a design and documentation perspective that has become synonymous with CORE.

Believing in the old adage that if something is to be done, it should be done right, Earl oversees projects in all phases of development. He navigates with consideration of both the client and the city, ensuring that projects align with design intent.

Earl has led many projects that required coordination of not only stakeholder interest but also public participation. He played a significant role in projects that have helped reshape neighbourhoods such as the Byward Market and Centretown in Ottawa, the Allenbury Gardens in Toronto, and projects in larger urban environments such as the Dubai Marina.

Being involved in the growth of the office since its early years, Earl has helped establish many of the processes and standards employed by CORE. He provides leadership within the office by mentoring and assisting project teams with design, and regulatory and technical concerns.

Gabriela Estrada

Partner
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Gabriela Estrada grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, graduating from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (I.T.E.S.M) in 1991 with a Bachelor of Architecture. After a successful career practicing architecture in Mexico, she immigrated to Canada and joined CORE in 1998.

Gabriela is the director of the retail studio and is responsible for ensuring positive client experiences. She became an associate in 2006 and a partner in 2018. Her industry experience spans over 20 years and includes private and large-scale residential projects, restaurants, and retail projects.

During her initial tenure at CORE, Gabriela worked on various projects, including condominiums, private homes, and restaurants. In 2001, she became the point of contact for MAC Cosmetics when CORE became the Architect of Record for the brand. Under her stewardship, a 15-year relationship would develop that would result in 1300 retail deployments with the brand. During this time, Gabriela became a driving force in the evolution of the retail studio, and since 2002, the team has been responsible for over 1500 retail rollouts and over 1.3 million sq. ft. of retail space globally.

In addition to the management of the retail studio, Gabriela’s primary focus is new clientele, client relations, and attracting high profile brands, including SONY, Lacoste, Limited Brands, Adidas, H&M, and Saks off Fifth. She has also been instrumental in expanding CORE’s retail practice into the United States where we are now licensed in thirty-three states.

Gabriela has also attended retail conferences in Madrid, Athens, London, New York, Singapore, Dubai, and Dusseldorf, expanding her knowledge of retail trends and practices globally.

Lili Vu

Senior Associate
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Lili is an associate in the Retail Studio, working with her team and assisting in the management of the department. She has been with CORE since 2005 and became an Associate in 2012. Lili has spread her time working on private and large scale residential projects, hospitality and retail projects at CORE.

Her projects have included working mainly on retail roll-out stores with various Brands and flagship stores both domestically and internationally. Lili’s responsibilities on projects include client meetings and contracts, reviewing project requirements, developing project timelines, consultant coordination and drawing review, tender and permit packages, and reviewing for project substantial completion.

Brian Laye

Senior Associate
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Brian joined CORE Architects in 2010. He has worked with CORE for eight years and has been practising architectural design in Ontario since 2003. Working for both architectural and landscape architecture firms, his project experience includes, master planning, multi-unit and single-family residential buildings, and community parks and plazas.

While at CORE, Brian has participated in numerous condominium projects from low rise designs of 11 storeys to large multi-tower projects up to 88 storeys, including The Stanley, The Bond, 81 Wellesley, Fashion House, 12 Degrees, 87 Peter, OneEleven Bathurst, The One in partnership with Fosters + Partners, and most recently, M City Phases 1 & 2.

Brian holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from Ryerson University and a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto.

In his role of project manager Brian coordinates the overall design and development of the project. He attends all project meetings and is the point of contact at CORE for all client and consultant project communications.

Daniel Lee

Senior Associate
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Daniel has developed design experience in Canada and internationally since 2004. He joined CORE Architects in 2010. His project experience includes masterplanning and all occupancy classes. He is a RIBA qualified Architect and a LEED accredited professional. Daniel has been responsible for our work with clients such as Porsche and Cineplex and has completed over 30 projects nationally.

Peter Arth

Senior Associate
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Peter developed his Canadian and international architectural experience since 1996. He has been involved in various projects from multi-residential, hospitality, institutional, commercial to retail. Peter’s role at CORE has been to provide contract documentation for our numerous condominium projects.

Peter's responsibilities include monitoring schedule, coordination and quality control during the design and construction process, and liaising and coordinating with local authorities and consultants through pre and post-construction phases.