Upstart architecture firm takes on Toronto’s condo design deficit
WHO: Raw Design (rawdesign.ca)
SIGNATURE PROJECTS: Roland Rom Colthoff and Richard Witt might sound a little lefty when describing Raw Design’s hierarchy-free office and open-eyed architectural idealism, but with so many social and eco concerns driving the building biz today, the free-thinking approach fits. Toronto projects including Little Italy’s Cube Lofts and Leslieville’s Stage East back up their progressive ethos by combining contemporary design and sensitivity to urban sites.
DESIGN PHILOSOPHY: From their Mercer Street studio, the Raw team look north to a city that, they say, too quickly discounts its architectural integrity. They see their job as adding a new layer to a dynamic streetscape, intensifying its use and design flair.
NEW WORKS: In town, Raw is designing Mini’s downtown dealership when it moves next to the sleek BMW Toronto building on the edge of the Don Valley. Outside of Toronto, the firm is turning two industrial blocks in downtown Kitchener into digital media and biotech offices.
WHERE TO BUY IT: Condo purchases aside, RAW is working on new product and furniture designs and even a few fashion pieces, but no retailers or release dates are set.