Diamond Schmitt Architects is an award-winning, Canadian Based firm. It was founded in 1975 by Jack Diamond and Donald Schmitt. The firm excels in Architecture, Urban Planning, and Master Planning. The firm is recognized for its diverse portfolio in various aspects of architecture like institutional, residential, commercial, and civic projects.
The firm was established in Toronto and today has expanded to Vancouver, Calgary, and New York. The company aims to design human-oriented spaces. They design to enhance the communities and lives of the people residing in spaces. Schmitt Architects follows an ideology of leaving a positive impact with their design. They strive to understand the nature of people who live or work in the buildings they are designing. Currently, over 300 architects are practicing under the firm.
The firm functions on a global level. They strive in a collaborative and interactive environment. Schmitt Architects carefully observe their site constraints, understand the client’s perspective, and look for an innovative, yet sustainable solution. They believe that Architecture can empower and inspire people for a better future. Their buildings hold the capability to escalate the inhabitant’s true potential.
The firm promotes Canadian work culture and respects diversity, values, people, and ideas.
Approach Towards Sustainability
Diamond Schmitt Architects supports environmentally sustainable designs. The firm approach to preserve and enrich the environment. The company aims to deepen awareness about the issues and attempts to curb them in urban designs. The team strives for a sustainable future and believes that when a building stays adaptable and occupied for a long period then it is fundamentally sustained.
Thus, the company aims to provide an efficient design solution that fulfills the client’s needs and is sustainable. The company challenges the consultant team to seek energy responsive design for all their projects. The material palette chosen is durable and responsive material that reduces volatile organic compounds.
Schmitt Architects value sustainable design more than a high-performance design. The firm tries to educate and engage its clients as well in the concept of sustainability. The firm is committed to the 2030 challenge to reduce greenhouse emissions for their new and renovated projects.
Baselines and Top Energy Saving Techniques Implemented
The company believes in a few strategies to reduce energy waste. Strategies involve energy reclamation, high-performance mechanical systems tailored to building, appropriate glazing,
good thermal building envelope, occupancy, and daylight sensors paired with good daylight penetration.
The firm has completed a wide variety of projects and there are several ongoing projects. Here two projects are covered from the portfolio of Diamond Schmitt Architects:
1. St. Clair Place
Client: Wittington Properties Limited
Year of Completion: 2025
Sustainability: LEED Platinum Target
The project is under the domain of Public Spaces. The design focuses on an integrated public space providing three facilities: an interior great hall connected to transit; an exterior urban room lined with retail and community space; and a plaza created with the south edge of Westminster Church.
The great hall acts as a community hub and an extension of the urban room. The open exterior space creates an opportunity for a vendor market and people can eat, shop or play. The design brings out a collaborative and engaging environment. The plaza with a corridor connects the church to the neighborhood.
Amidst the Urban sprawl, the project creates a socially active environment. Retail complexes, rental spaces, commercial spaces, condos, and more public spaces are all part of this one mega project which benefits the neighborhood and creates opportunities on a broader level.
The placement of the block curbs the issue of traffic and laneways create a connecting shopping street infrastructure.
2. Richmond Hill Central Library
Client: Richmond Hill Library Board
Year of Completion: 1993
This was one of the earliest projects accomplished by Diamond Schmitt Architects. Located at the top of a hill, at the southwest corner of Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive, this project is recognized under many awards. The library sets an example for a Classic-Modern style of Architecture. Massive Volumes of concrete, outstanding in the daylight, leave a monumental impact.
Showcasing the nostalgia of the Industrial Revolution, use of new material of then i-e concrete, glass and steel, glazed windows, earthy and simple color tones, simple facade and large footprints.
The significance of the project lies in its design, elevated up to four stories; the library was amongst the first few projects that represented systems of architecture in Canada. The interiors are spacious and grand with connecting alleys and walkways. It gives an imprint of a historic village. At the centre there are double stairs, climbing up to a reference room on the third floor which resembles a community piazza.
To elongate the sustainability and durability of the building, designers incorporated advanced mechanical and electrical infrastructure. The building stands strong for nearly three decades and has served the community as a temple of knowledge.
Diamond Schmitt. (2019). Diamond Schmitt. [online] Available at: https://dsai.ca/