Principles

1. site

Respect the Site

The Okanagan landscape is challenging and beautiful. Rather than flatten and scrape the site to allow a building to be dropped in the centre, break up the program and let it fit the contours of the land. Develop relationships between the buildings and the existing landscape. Celebrate the connection of building to ground.

2. local

Use Local Materials

Wood is the renewable building material of the future, and it is all around us. Explore different species: larch grows on the hills above Penticton, and can be used unfinished for siding or exterior screens. Douglas Fir is being manufactured into glulam beams and wood windows here in the valley. Lodgepole Pine is plentiful, and the smallest trees can still be made into structural tongue and groove decking.

3. energy

Reduce Energy Use

We are not rich in rushing rivers, coal, or oil, thankfully. We have a mild climate and no good excuse for wasting energy we have to import from flooded Kootenay valleys. Through proper building orientation, adequate insulation and efficient fixtures, we can reduce our energy use to a minimum. By designing all electric buildings, we are preparing ourselves for the renewable sources of the future.

Naramata Residence, BC Canada.

Naturally Ventilate

The Okanagan is hot, but not for many months of the year, and it’s a dry heat. With proper shading, thermal mass, and good air flow, we don’t need air conditioning. Mount shades outside the windows. Only build one room deep. Make your windows big, and open them, or better yet, make whole walls slide away. Pay attention to the prevailing breezes, and orient your buildings to use them. Leave existing mature trees to shade your roof.

5. south

Orient to the Sun

Let’s build like the Romans, and turn our buildings to the sun. South is the best direction for windows to face, because the high summer sun is easily blocked, and the low winter sun can penetrate deeply to heat floors and bodies. If the heat source is radiant and in the floor, the sun will turn off your heat pump.

6. native

Preserve Native Landscapes

We have an arid climate, let’s enjoy it. The grasslands took thousands of years to get established, so let’s take care of them, and learn from them. We can save our water for vegetables, fruit and wine. Existing trees provide shade, natural contours control stormwater and erosion.

7. culture

Express our Culture

Yes, we have a culture. Like it or not, our buildings and towns are reflections of it. If we don’t like what we see, we have to change the way we live, not just our style of architecture. If we show respect for our landscape, our climate, and our neighbours, then our buildings will be authentic, appropriate and welcoming to all.
8. beauty

Make it Beautiful

But our buildings need to be more than just functional. We don’t want to simply sustain life, we want to live it! Sunlight, shade, natural breezes, outlook to nature, these are the joys of Sustainable Hedonism. Beauty and inspiration are integral parts of a more enjoyable, more connected, and more authentic architecture.

About Us

From our base in the Okanagan Valley we offer architectural design, industrial design, landscape design, and planning services throughout British Columbia. We believe that architecture must respond directly and simply to its geographic, climatic, and urban con­text, and have been nationally recognized for our regionalist approach to sustainable design.

Landform Architecture Ltd. is the successor firm to Allen + Maurer Architects Ltd., which practiced from 2006 to 2014. We continue to collaborate on individual projects with former partner Florian Maurer.

With our associated firm Landform Design Build Ltd. we offer construction management services to selected clients in our vicinity. We focus on projects where our direct involvement in the construction will allow specialized design details and site placements to to be effectively realized. This experience keeps us constantly up to date with the practical world of construction, what works and what doesn’t, and how much it costs.

The act of building forces us to design better buildings.

2014, North American Wood Design Awards, Merit, Askew’s Uptown Food Store
2014, North American Wood Design Awards, SFI Special Prize, Askew’s Uptown Food Store
2013, Architectural Institute of BC (AIBC) Special Jury Award, Askew’s Uptown Food Store
2013, Architectural Institute of BC (AIBC) Special Jury Award, Sloan Berkes House
2013, Canadian Home Builders Assn., Department G Award, Penticton Indian Band Ecosage Homes
2013, Illumination Engineering Society Award of Merit, Askew’s Uptown Food Store
2013, Canadian Independent Grocer of the Year Award, Askew’s Uptown Food Store
2012, Fortis BC Energy Efficiency Award, Summerland RCMP Station
2012, Fortis BC Energy Efficiency Award, Penticton Indian Band Ecosage Homes
2012, Thompson Okanagan Commercial Buildings Award, Askew’s Uptown Food Store
2012, Thompson Okanagan Commercial Buildings Award, Shatford Building
2009, BC Educational Facilities Awards, Citation Award, Richmond Christian School
2008, WoodWorks! Award, Architectural Firm Award, Allen + Maurer Architects Ltd.

2014, Fall, Wood Design + Building, “Askew’s Uptown Food Store”
2013, Nov. 8, Penticton Western News, “Architects Gaining Ground”
2013, Nov. 7, Penticton Herald, “Architects Receive Provincial Accolade”
2013, Nov. 4, My Naramata, “Best Design in BC: Naramata Home Wins LG Award”
2013, Nov. 1 Penticton Herald, “Housing Project Wins Award from Home Builders Association”
2013, Oct. 23, My Naramata, “Two Naramata Companies Win Sustainable Building Award”
2012, Spring, On Site Review, “Earth House, Glass House Cave” by Florian Maurer
2012, Spring, On Site Review, “Askew’s Salmon Arm – Urbanising the Strip” by Florian Maurer
2010, Collins Design New York, “150 Best Eco House Ideas”, by Marta Serrats
2010, Winter, CA Executive Journal Winter 2010, “A Natural Partnership”
2010, June, On Site Review, “Oliver Farmers Market” by Chris Allen
2010, May, Canadian Wood Council, “WoodWorks!”, Richmond Christian School
2009, Nov. My Naramata, “Substation on Schedule”
2009, July 29, eVent, “From Home to Castle”
2008, Mar. ArchitectureBC, “Architecture Meets the Bird on the Wire” by Florian Maurer
2008, Nov. 30, Penticton Western News, “Naramata Architect Gets National Recognition”
2008, Arquitectura y Diseño 94, “Casas en la Nuturaleza”
2008, Nov. 5, SAB Magazine, “From Sustainability to Love” by Florian Maurer
2008, Aug/Sep, Okanagan Home, “When Form Follows Physics”
2007, Nuvo, “Sustainable Design”
2004, Spring, On Site Review, “Finnish Wood Culture: Innovation within a Material Palette” by Chris Allen

chris mug colour (1)

I was raised in a small logging community on Adams lake, and one of my first experiences with construction was putting a new roof on our local church. In the morning I set off with my uncles to cut shake blocks, and by nightfall the roof was complete. This sense of connection between building and the land continues to inspire me. Studying architecture in Nova Scotia, I experienced the rich sense of place which can can be developed by a local building culture; and traveling in Northern Europe, I saw some of the greatest buildings of the 20th century in towns of a few hundred people. In my work, I strive to develop a sustainable relationship between culture, landscape, and building in the BC Interior, and design structures which dignify the lives people lead in this place.

Chris Allen, Architect AIBC, LEED ® AP

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Born and raised in Penticton, I grew up surrounded by construction with a carpenter/artist father and an old orchard house that needed constant attention. Those childhood experiences steered me to a career in design and construction. After graduating from the Building Technology Engineering program at BCIT in 1992, I worked at engineering and architectural firms while taking chunks of time off to travel with the hopes of discovering a new place to settle. However impressed I was with the places I’d seen, my connection to the Okanagan grew deeper with each return. I continue to enjoy contributing to the burgeoning culture of the Okanagan, and its built environment.

Sean Kimberley, Architectural Technologist AIBC, LEED ® AP

British Columbia’s Interior has been and always will be home for me.  In the seat of an excavator at a young age I learned the possibility of shaping the physical world around me and how that work and development had long lasting effects on communities.  It is this sense of having the ability to shape the world that has driven my architectural career.  I am currently finishing my education on the other side of the country.  It has helped to study in various locations such as Halifax and Portugal to gain a better understanding of what it means to design with a sensitivity to culture and place.  Furthermore, interpreting and translating other cultures approach to architecture to our local communities reveals a great deal about how things are done here and the amazing region we inhabit.

Warren Sanders

Growing up in a farm house under the hammer of my parent’s modern ideals, I was shaped by buildings as I was taught to shape them. Building our family’s houses showed me how to improve life through careful consideration and constant construction. Seeking to deepen my understanding and improve my practice, I studied French and fine art, and then travelled, constructing buildings in developing nations. I studied architecture at UBC in Vancouver, the door to the promised-land I’d read of in ski magazines. In the Okanagan, I now enjoy a balance between theoretical architecture, calculated visions for the future, and the grounding act of construction itself. I continue to pursue design-build work in developing nations, because it reminds me of the ever-present abundance.

Austin Hawkins, designer, builder

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Born and raised in Basel, Switzerland, building has always been in one way or another part of my life, from Lego, to a wooden shack in my parents back yard, to working in steel construction and custom metal designs in later years. In 1995 my move to BC allowed this passion to grow, starting with using old barn wood and metal to design custom furniture, and eventually moving to bigger structures like pergolas and gates. In 2008 I collaborated with Allen + Maurer Architects to build the Oliver Agrispirit Pavilion. With a strong interest in modern architecture, it was certain that more collaborations would be in the future. Since then I have been a key member of the team for all of Landform Design Build’s projects, from simple cantilevered steel stairs to whole new houses.

Thomas Born, site supervisor and builder

Contact

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205-301 Main Street

Penticton, BC V2A 5B7

Canada

1-250-276-4106

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