Drew Sinclair wins the Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners

University of Toronto architecture graduate Drew Sinclair is the winner of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners. He will have the opportunity to study regional spatial planning initiatives in six cities in northern Europe.

The $34,000 Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners is awarded to a recent graduate of one of Canada’s ten accredited schools of architecture, who demonstrates outstanding potential. The prize winner is given the opportunity to visit exceptional buildings across the world, and to intern at an architecture firm of international stature.

Over the next year, Sinclair will investigate alternative planning models and examples of public agencies that have had a positive effect on evolving urban forms. He will travel to cities in the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany to study their architecture and urban landscapes. He hopes to attain an understanding of the relationship between spatial planning regulations and the architectural projects that are created within their constraints. Sinclair’s internship will be with Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Sinclair was selected by an assessment committee consisting of architects Susan Fitzgerald (Halifax), Oliver Lang (Vancouver), Paul Laurendeau (Montreal) and Michael Taylor (Toronto) and artistic director Ashley Lupypciw (Calgary). The peer assessors noted that Drew Sinclair’s proposal showed exceptional maturity, stemming from a longstanding engagement with his area of research and supported by his previous studies in geography. They commented that Sinclair has very specific knowledge of current debates in the architectural profession, in both Canada in the European Union, about urban design, zoning and planning policy. The jurors were also impressed by Sinclair’s roster of internships with excellent established and emerging Canadian firms.

Drew Sinclair received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto in 2007 and was the recipient of the Heather M. Reisman Gold Medal in Design and the Alpha Rho Chi Medal. He holds a degree in geography and international development studies from McGill University where he was the 2001 recipient of the Canadian Association for Geographers Award for exceptional achievement in the study of geography. He is a Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Sinclair’s master’s thesis was an extension of his undergraduate research at McGill where he studied the emerging systems of irregular real estate and property development on the outskirts of Mexico City. His thesis brought this research to the more familiar context of Bathurst Street a major Toronto thoroughfare. He proposed a system of fictitious urban codes which took eccentricities from the existing built context along the north-south corridor and scripted them into rules for future property severance and development.

Since early 2006, Sinclair has been a project architect with superkl inc. | architect in Toronto. He has worked with work Architecture Company in New York; as project coordinator for the Diane von Furstenberg Studio Headquarters; Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in New York; Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects in Toronto; and Arthur Erickson Architectural Corporation in Vancouver. He has taught design studio at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and the University of Toronto Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Sinclair was the co-coordinator of the 2007 twenty + change exhibition of emerging design practices in Toronto, and the 2004 Span symposium at the University of Toronto.

Sinclair was born on a farm outside of Toronto and has since been “married to the southern Ontario hinterland.” He has lived in New York, Vancouver, Montreal, Malaysia, Thailand, and Calgary. He now lives in Toronto.