The First 50 Years
The Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Partnership was established in 1961 by four previous associates of architect Peter Dickinson. After his untimely passing, and with commissions to complete for Issy Sharp of Four Seasons Hotel and Kenneth Rottenberg of Y&R Properties, the new firm was founded and designed its first modernist landmark projects in Toronto.
Through the 1960’s and 70’s the firm went on to design the CN Tower and multiple signature office buildings in downtown Toronto and Calgary for major banks and oil companies.
Through the 1980’s and 90’s WZMH’s work followed its developer and new clients, expanding into USA, the Middle East and China.
After 50 years and renamed as WZMH Architects, the firm has evolved from its modest roots to a global force in Architectural Design, with a showcase of buildings in every large Canadian city and many throughout the world.
Enduring developer relationships with Oxford Properties, Brookfield, Olympia and York, Four Seasons and many other clients have generated a multitude of current projects presently under design at WZMH Architects.
Fast forward 50 years and WZMH Architects have evolved into a diversified practice adept at increasingly complex design, construction and procurement methods. As our clients have progressed from private entrepreneurial developers making quick and binding decisions to large companies with boards of directors, complex accounting and decision making structures, WZMH’s project management methodology has developed to assist accordingly.
Our firm has long been associated with the design of office buildings, and we have steadily built upon this experience. We have pioneered in workplace design through an advanced understanding of technology and its dramatic impact on the nature of the workspace, as well as the evolution of sustainable practices in workplace design.
We are also proud of the many new client groups and building categories that have grown out of our ability to adapt and react to new and evolving situations. Over the course of the first decade of the new century, we have established a significant level of expertise in buildings as diverse as justice facilities, entertainment and gaming facilities and data centres – building types that didn’t really exist when we began our practice – as well as the mainstay of tall buildings, which we now design for a world in which sustainability factors prominently in design thinking. Our work in residential projects has also evolved in new and different ways, to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of the post-millennial city. We look forward with optimism to 50+ more years of design and serving our clients.