Taymoore Balbaa

Taymoore Balbaa received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Waterloo and won the RAIC Medal for Outstanding Thesis. In 2005, he became the inaugural winner of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners, working and conducting research in Spain, West Africa, Greece, and Egypt. He also holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from Waterloo, and took pre-professional architecture training in the Università Gabriele D’Annunzio in Italy. He is a licensed architect with the OAA, and in the European Union with the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE).

In 2010 he became a founding partner of Atelier3AM, a multidisciplinary firm actively engaged in the crossing of design and research. Since 2006, he has been the principal of Taymoore Balbaa Design Studio (TABA), and has developed a body of work that includes libraries, housing, live/work projects, cultural centres, and a place of worship. Prior to this, he worked in the offices of Menis Arquitectos (Tenerife), directing the designs of a social-housing project and an urban park in Spain. In 2004-2005, he worked with the Toronto firm of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects on the Manitoba Hydro office project in downtown Winnipeg. With Massimiliano Fuksas Architetto in Rome in 2000-2001, he worked on several notable projects in Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. He has also worked with HLW International in New York, and in 1998, assisted on the Parthenon Restoration Project in Athens.

At both graduate and undergraduate levels, Balbaa has taught Design Studio at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto, and has lectured at universities in Berlin, Toronto, Napoli, Tunis, Istanbul and Ottawa. In addition, he has been an invited critic at the Pratt Institute (Rome) and at the Yale School of Architecture. Currently, he serves as a sessional professor at Ryerson University in Toronto.

The Young Architect Award recognizes an architect under the age of 35 for excellence in design, leadership and/or service to the profession. It is intended that this award will inspire other young architects to become licensed and to strive for excellence in their work.

Jury Comments

The jury has named Balbaa the recipient of this year’s Young Architect Award in recognition of his impressive early achievements in the profession; he is an exciting young architect with exceptional potential. 

His breadth of professional focus and capability is impressive–he has consistently demonstrated an interest and ability to combine architectural practice with teaching, research, and exhibition. Balbaa is quickly emerging as a significant contributor to architecture, both in Canada and abroad. The future of this young architect will also most certainly prove interesting to watch.

The jury for this award was comprised of George Baird, FRAIC; Richard Young, PP/FRAIC; Alan R. Collyer, FRAIC; Paul Merrick, FRAIC; Sophie Ouimet, La Presse; and Alexander Rankin, FRAIC, Chancellor of the College of Fellows and Jury Chair.