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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Preserve our Landscape

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.

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.

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.

2017, Thompson Okanagan Commercial Buildings Award, 8th Generation Winery
2017, Thompson Okanagan Commercial Buildings Award, Okanagan College Daycare
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.

2016, June, Western Living, “Between Earth and Sky”
2016, Spring, Sustainable Architecture & Building Magazine, “Askew’s Uptown Supermarket”
2015, Celebrating Excellence in Wood Architecture, “Askew’s Foods Uptown Store”
2015, March 18, Salmon Arm Observer, “Askew’s Earns Wood Award”
2014, Fall, Wood Works, “Askew’s Uptown Food Store”
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

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

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 received a master’s of architecture from Dalhousie University 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, Intern Architect AIBC

My Okanagan origins are in Summerland, where I grew up with a pencil in one hand and a peach in the other. As a result, I feel a strong connection to the landscape and people here, and believe that good architecture is firmly rooted in its culture and place. I received my master’s of architecture from Dalhousie University in 2014 where I was awarded a thesis prize for my graduation thesis. After studying and working abroad in the Netherlands and Scotland, I apprenticed with MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects of Halifax, Nova Scotia for several years.  There, I worked on various projects from a small forest pavilion on the Bay of Fundy to a 70 000 ft2 Emergency Operations Centre for the City of Edmonton. Since joining Landform Architecture + Design Build in 2016, I have sought to challenge the prevailing ‘bigger is better’ mentality in the Okanagan and help people create timeless, intimate, and meaningful spaces for themselves.

William Green, Intern Architect AIBC

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


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205-301 Main Street

Penticton, BC V2A 5B7