Yukon architects Kobayashi & Zedda named Northerners of the Year

The architectural landscape of the Yukon may never be the same. For eight years Jack Kobayashi and Antonio Zedda have been working to modernize the Yukon with their somewhat unorthodox take on architecture. For their work in the North, Jack Kobayashi and Antonio Zedda have been named the 2006 Northerners of the Year by Up Here in its November/December issue.

Kobayashi and Zedda head up KZA, a Whitehorse-based architecture company known for taking a different approach to the profession. They not only design the buildings, but also involve themselves on the construction and the sales end of things. Their works are typically squarish, often with an emphasis on windows. Another local architect has even compared their designs to “lopsided boxes.” When one of their projects begins, some scoff while others are eager to see what it will become.

“You just don’t think you will be awarded for stuff like this,” Zedda says, adding that the duo simply set out to produce good work, and while many may think their buildings look strange, that doesn’t worry KZA too much. “Part of experimentation is just going out there and being a little forceful.”

Jake Kennedy, editor of Up Here, says the magazine chose KZA as their Northerners of the Year because of their work to create a new Yukon architectural aesthetic. “Love them or hate them, it’s undeniable that Kobayashi and Zedda are changing the face of Yukon.”

Up Here has delivered the North in all its beauty and diversity to a dedicated readership since 1984. This award-winning publication is the voice of the North, a regional magazine with a national and international audience. For more information, please visit www.uphere.ca.