Gwathmey Professor in Architecture
Nima Javidi is a registered architect and a lecturer at John H Daniels faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at University of Toronto as well as an adjunct professor at Cooper Union’s Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture in New York City, teaching design Studios. Having studied under a lineage of influential voices and pedagogues within the discourse of architecture his interest in architecture is mainly focused on the relationship between geometry, structure and build-ablity and has focused his teaching and practice along that trajectory.
He has a Master of Architecture degree from University of Tehran and a Master of Urban Design from University of Toronto where his thesis with George Baird as the advisor won the prestigious Heather Reisman Gold Medal of Design in 2005. Nima has worked for a range of local and international practices including Baird Sampson Neuert Architects and became a licensed architect with the Ontario Association of Architects in 2009 and established Ja Architecture Studio with his partner.
As part of his work at Ja, Nima has realized a range of small and medium scale projects as test grounds for the themes of the practice and has also worked on a range of international competitions; the firms’ projects have won awards and have been widely published.
For Nima Javidi's full CV, please click here.
Projects & Links
Twenty + Change
Competition | Winner | 2012 | Toronto
Context- located in a neighborhood deep in transition along the Queen Street West thoroughfare in Toronto, on Queen is a combination of restoration, renovation and a new addition on three sides of an existing storefront building on queen Street West. A project that restores the shell of an existing structure and by adding three additions on front side and back transforms it into a building of many uses: retail, residential units, an office space and an outdoor gallery.
Along the transition of the neighborhood the current fabric is divided between either old storefront buildings, with occupants in search of vintage artefacts and culture, or new modernist condominiums with often mediocre architecture. The presented restoration project with its second phase addition is an attempt to explore a third scenario, a distinct new contemporary architecture that is not shy from expression yet small enough not to adversely affect the context of the neighborhood. Together with the upcoming second phase the project expresses a scenographic desire to use architecture as a stage for an urban drama, which unfolds in the building’s breezeway, and the future communal courtyard and elevated balconies. As such, the building becomes a silent witness to fleeting moments and strange encounters in the depth of the urban block of this layered neighborhood.
Canadian Architect Award of Merit, 2015
Winner of an award for architectural design excellence, “111/2” is a rear addition “111/1 in the same vibrant Queen Street West neighborhood of Toronto. It asserts its object like presence through a clear geometric form, that while familiar and fitting in the context, its austere envelope sets it apart from its ornate neighbors, an alluring anomaly in the surrounding streetscape
This urban infill project will be built on a 233m2 lot, 87m2 of which is occupied by an existing building that underwent renovations in 2013, and which now comprises a successful restaurant/bar on the ground floor, a residential unit on the second story and an architecture studio on the top floor.
The client has requested three programs for this rear addition. First, a flexible commercial unit that can accommodate retail or restaurant program and be leased either in conjunction with the current ground-floor establishment or on its own. Second, three residential units. And third, a two-car garage. An existing breezeway will provide pedestrian access to both the commercial and residential units.
Ultimately, the project aims to balance a number of competing concerns: the neighbourhood context, the client’s desires, the design intent of the existing building, strict zoning by-laws, and the architect’s own ambition to create a building of architectural significance.
Bauhaus Museum Competition| Six Rooms Fourth Prize Winner
Six rooms merge on the edge of a park, each room housing one of the programs that once formed the Bauhaus, each calling for autonomy yet playing a part in a cohesive whole. The delicate balance between autonomy and participation becomes a narrative for one of the most interdisciplinary institution of the past century, The Bauhaus; where art, design, craft, culture and politics formed a force field of modernism. The gathering of the rooms will also become a programmatic framework for the function of The Bauhaus Museum Dessau and its curatorial concept.
The Urban role
The arrangements of the rooms on the ground perform multiple urban requirements and conditions that the Museum building has to address. From forming an urban edge for the Kavalierstraße to acting as a gateway to the park for an everyday passage from Antoinettenstraße to Ratsgasse and to create local fragments of outdoor gathering and exhibitions around its perimeter, the project addresses the every day life aspect of the museum on the ground and the exhibition of the respective activities on the permanent exhibition level above.
Visitors can access the building both from the grand entry on Kavalierstraße or the walkway from the park. The ground floor of the building is dedicated to vibrant activities and the upper levels to the permanent exhibitions, the topos of each room on the exhibition level will correspond to the everyday function underneath, the Clubhouse topoi will be above the café, the School topoi above the education center, The Factory above the workshop,…
Space and program
Three main spaces (entry hall, temporary and permanent exhibition halls) will form the core of the visitor experience. Two peripheral zones (logistics and café on the north and administration and education center on the south) will accommodate the service, support and administrative spaces of the museum around the main core.
The Drava Experience, Competition 2012
Crossing the new pedestrian Lent-Tabor Bridge would be as important as spending time on it. The proximity of the existing bridges over Drava along Lent Tabor embankment provides an opportunity for the new bridge to perform more than a crossing bridge and become both a landmark and a vibrant urban surface that is intensely engaged with water.
The bridge is designed as a 15m wide surface that can create a variety of experiential condition between people and Drava. The undulation of the bridge surface on one hand provides the structural stability of the bridge and at the same time allows the users to reach the water and engage in variety of spontaneous activities. From collective joy of watching a rowing competition during Lent festival to a romantic encounter on a narrow walkway down from the ridge, the range of possible interaction of people and water becomes infinite. People’s spontaneous use of this urban surface would turn the bridge to an urban spectacle.
As part of the bridge experience would be from underneath, the underside of the bridge is clad with mirror finished copper roofing sheets to both protect the structure of the bridge and reflect the Drava ripples and the colors of historic Maribor clay tile roofs.
Guggenheim Helsinki Competition | Drift Wood
The design challenge of the museum is to find a moment of tangency between two ideals: the Guggenheim ideal of creating architectural icons and the Nordic ideal of openness and accessibility. Guggenheim museums have had no precedents at the moment of their inception; each unique on its own and each a new addition to the repertoire of architecture. Helsinki is an egalitarian city within which institutions are accessible and humane. How can a building be both monumental and accessible at the same time? How can it be both contextual and yet with no precedent?
Our proposal tries to find the answer in timber by developing a porous wooden structure along side the Helsinki harbour: a grand piece of nature that is harboured on the edge of the waterfront and is occupied with art, ecology and people.
A shift is proposed from the notion of the museum as a building within which art is displayed to a notion of a structure that is populated with art. The idea is to find a more immediate and direct relationship between the container and the contained. The structure will be created by an array of wooden pixels forming the exhibition spaces. Pixels are stacked, merged or separated to create a diversity of use and experience needed for the museum.
Mali Design Competition | Dotting the Edge
The new plaza on the West side of the Exposition Palace restores the original ground plane of this prominent corner, making it accessible from all sides. This large linear plaza, paved with permeable stones and dotted with mature trees, extends from Parque Juana Larco de Dammert to Parque de la Exposición creating a visual connection across the busy street. While each of these important parks offer much necessary green space for repose, this new plaza offer a gallery for the city - an urban scaled surface from which museum goers, tourists, and commuters alike can gather amongst the city’s finest examples of culture.
This plaza is framed by a line of slender towers which establishes an urban edge and frames the plaza without impeding views of the facade of the Exposition Palace. Aligned along the urban edge, these iconic figures give a sense of presence to Garcilaso De La Vega Avenue. The towers will allow a vertical passage to the spaces below grade. Passage into the museum can happen both from the park across the road via the new metro station’s concourse level or through the aggregation of towers which marks the main entrance to the new museum.
Milan Expo, Iran Pavilion
Earth is the focus of Milan Expo 2015.
The main objective in this project is to infuse space under the earth, by raising parts of its shell and introducing Iran’s diverse ecology underneath.
This method of engaging with nature has a long standing history in Iran’s vernacular architecture; subterranean houses in hot climate, houses carved into the rock in mountainous regions and finally Yakhchals and Abanbars (water, ice and food reservoirs).
The pavilion has been divided into four different climatic zones which not only represent Iran’s climatic diversity but also make the visitors’ experience of each space a unique one
Semi -Divided is an adaptive re-use project of a single family dwelling in the art and culture district of Toronto. The project was designed to transform the original semi-detached house into three individual units with separate access for short-term lease on Airbnb , A house subdivided to smaller units and shorter occupancies, a frontier on the wave of transformations of vibrant neighborhoods by tourists un-interested in staying in a hotel or an urban center for their visits and eager to get under the skin of the daily life of the city.
The architectural challenge was how to introduce this transformation into the fabric of the neighborhood both to express the architectural ambitions of this change while respecting the very fabric of the neighbourhood where these future short term occupants are to visit.
A new multi-entry façade has been plugged into the front of the building along with a sunken courtyard to allow street access and light to the basement. A landscape intervention that creates multiple zones in the front yard of the house that allows a more efficient use of the frontage as well as a livelier streetscape.
The design of the façade addresses the original fold on the mansard roof while a modern bay window opens up the project onto the street. Aged copper cladding with flat seams is used to both reflect the geometry of the façade and to blend into the fabric of an old neighborhood
The Arch of Light | Stanley Cup Monument
With Sebastian Erruzuriz Studio, Brooklyn, NY
A two-phase nationwide public art competition to celebrate the 125 anniversaries of Stanley Cup in Ottawa. “The Arch of Light” was designed to be a triumphal Arch that acts as a solar calendar that marked the historic events of Hockey with its moving shadow on the ground of the city. A public art piece for a nation whose favorite sport is deeply tied to its sense of place and its climate.
The fold is a new contemporary house built in a midtown urban neighborhood in Toronto. It is designed to fulfill the space requirements of a big family typically accommodated in larger suburban lots within the size constraints of an urban residential neighborhood. An integrated garage as well as an independently accessed and habitable basement was amongst the requirements of the brief. The design concept has been to gradually elevate the visitors from the grade to the ground floor through a series of exterior stairs that take in both the visitors and the whole façade into an interstitial space within the façade, a space that both belongs to the public and the domestic, a space that has now become part of the iconography of the house. The project is designed to be contemporary and elegant, while retaining a relationship with the fabric of the neighborhood through the use of warm and contextually relevant materials. The ground floor of the building cascades down in section to gradually connect the living space above the garage to the landscape level in the backyard, starting from the highest and most communal space in the front to the lowest and most intimate platform at the back. A straight run stair on the east side of the building with a linear void under a row of skylights brings light into the heart of the building.