Omar Gandhi Architect Inc. of Halifax has won the Canada Council 2014 Prix de Rome prize.
Inspired by the maritime climate, Omar Gandhi's winning project will explore how buildings respond to extreme weather and he hopes to develop progressive design strategies for regions of high precipitation.
The $50,000 prize recognizes outstanding achievement in Canadian architecture. It is awarded annually to a young architect or architectural firm to develop their skills and creative practice, as well as work with specialists worldwide.
"We are honoured by the support of our peers and grateful to the Canada Council for this contribution. With the Prix de Rome as our foundation, we can evolve our methodology and integrate a culture of research and experimentation into our practice to create architecture that responds to, and engages within its environment," said Gandhi in a release.
The funds will enable Gandhi to travel, consult with, and learn from specialists in Columbia, England, Scotland and the United States.
His areas of study will be in 3D modelling, innovative manufacturing techniques, biomimicry (nature-inspired innovation), rainwater recovery and sustainable strategies using both traditional and contemporary architecture practices.
Formed in 2010, Omar Gandhi Architect is a studio specializing in custom modern design, and has already won significant acclaim including two Lieutenant Governor Awards in Architecture, and been named in Wallpaper Magazine's 2014 top 20 young architectural practices worldwide.
Previously, Gandhi worked for Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects and Young + Wright Architects in Toronto and MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects in Halifax.
Born and raised in Brampton, Ont., Gandhi has a bachelors' degrees in Architectural Studies from the University of Toronto and Dalhousie University, a masters' degree from Dalhousie and is currently a sessional instructor at the School of Architecture and Planning at Dalhousie.