Diamond Schmitt Appoints Two New Principals

Diamond Schmitt Architects recently announced the appointment of Sybil Wa and Nigel Tai as Principals with the firm.

The promotion of the two Senior Associate architects recognizes their contribution to design excellence and skilled project management on a wide range of projects.

“We welcome these skilled design architects as partners in the firm as we continue to strengthen the practice,” said Donald Schmitt, Principal with the Toronto-based company.

Photo courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects

Wa’s career path with Diamond Schmitt began while still in high school, before deciding to pursue architecture. She returned while studying the profession at university and was hired upon graduation.

Her work includes civic and institutional projects with a focus on performing arts venues. Among these are the Four Seasons Centre and the renewal of what is now the Meridian Arts Centre in Toronto; the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia; and the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines.

Now based in New York City where she manages the firm’s studio, she is a key member of the design team on the re-imagination of David Geffen Hall, the home of the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center.

She participates in public housing design review and other city-building initiatives and has advocated for playgrounds and family-sized residential units to improve liveability in cities. “The design process has the potential to inspire creative and empathetic solutions,” said Wa.

Tai joined Diamond Schmitt in 2008 after gaining experience in Hong Kong and London. As a seasoned fast-track architect, he has managed complex institutional projects from design concept approval to building opening in highly condensed time frames as little as two years in length.

He was project architect on the award-winning Environmental Science and Chemistry Building at the University of Toronto Scarborough, now recognized as a model of sustainable design in the laboratory typology.

Tai is currently managing the design of two student residences at Queen’s University and Carleton University, and the final phase of construction of Transit City, the transformative residential project that is at the heart of the new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre.

“Architecture plays an increasingly important role in charting a sustainable future and advancing collaborative design solutions is the way to address this urgent objective,” said Tai.

He recently accepted a second term as a charter member of the Burlington Urban Design Advisory Panel.