Established in 2011, Root Architecture Inc. is a general architectural firm that focuses on educational, commercial, institutional and multi-unit residential projects, as well as the odd single family residence. The firm was founded on the principle of doing the right thing when presented with the opportunity to do so. For this Halifax-based firm, climate change is their opportunity to provide the solutions that leave a positive legacy for generations to come.
The purpose behind the creation of Root Architecture was to produce innovative sustainable designs that continue to raise expectations. This purpose fuels how the firm functions and allows their core values of finding equitable solutions between People, Planet and Profit to endure.
Root Architecture’s President, Kendall Taylor, desired to create a company that would edify everyone who came in contact with it, from employees and consultants to clients and contractors. Taylor’s family has deep roots in Nova Scotia, which go back over 200 years, hence the name Root. However, Root Architecture is more than just a name, it is an idea which is embraced by their staff and their clients. With a proven dedication to craft, an environmental conscience and a grounded connection to Atlantic Canada, Taylor and Root will surely be one of many architects who are helping to create a better planet for our children.
For any project, Root seeks to meet their clients goals while educating them on the values of working within the firm’s goals. In 2001, while working for another firm, Taylor was part of the design team for the Bedford Institute of Oceanography Energy Centre in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It was then he was exposed to the merits of sustainability. It is one of the most impactful buildings that he has worked on in his career because it showcased what is possible with green technologies in the local market. The Bedford Institute of Oceanography Energy Centre also won a Nova Scotia Association of Architects award, and has been visited and studied at length. This project altered Taylor’s view of architecture and spurred him to become heavily involved in developing the local Atlantic Canadian chapter of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), where he eventually made it to the national board of directors of the CaGBC, holding a position for 5 years. This summer marks ten years of involvement in helping shape the future of green buildings in Canada. Quite a personal revolution indeed.
Root Architecture is also known for their commercial project in Bedford, Nova Scotia, known as Nine Mile Circle, where they worked very closely with a local developer to create a commercial lifestyle centre. Despite being a very high end project with a strict budget, Root created the facade by utilizing a utilitarian Tilt-up concrete wall system. The development of this project has been closely observed by many in the area and Root has been hired by several clients because of it. The building has a total area of 48,000 sq ft and has a main floor for retail and a second floor as office space. The building’s design is a collection of small boutiques with their own identity and human scale, providing a street like feeling to the shopping experience, as opposed to a massive box store. Canopies are provided to shelter customers while they pass from store to store, making the building feel like a little city.
If a brighter future is to become reality, architects and other players involved in the construction process, must not only think about what gets built and how, but also meta-think in order to challenge entrenched ways of thinking. All this must be achieved, while delivering projects that meet the client’s program, arrive on schedule, and on budget. Root believes that they are up to this challenge, and that their creativity and ethics will enable them to provide sustainable designs that will enhance, and not destroy, the environment.
The vision of a carbon neutral world, full of environmentally-sound buildings, is an idea that Root Architecture strives to achieve through their mission of balancing social, environmental and economical values. A reality where our children and their needs have more value than short term energy savings. In so doing, they will have met and overcome the challenges which face our generation.
Root Architecture believes in building trust through an open and inclusive working relationship, telling clients what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Root’s website is full of testimonials from clients who value their approach to design.