March 22, 2022
Francis Green - Google Earth   Our staff occasionally assemble on Friday afternoons for an office exercise we call Things We Like. Centred around a theme determined earlier in the week, staff are invited to share examples of relevant things they enjoy. Since our first Things We Like in 2016, our staff have participated in 75 of these exercises. Some themes are intended to generate ideas for projects we're working on, while others are simply intended to encourage creativity and generate discussion about things we'd like to see in our community.    Preliminary Sketch of Downtown Kitchener, 1965 - Toronto Star   In May 2018, we met to reenvision Francis Green, the public space located at King and Francis in downtown Kitchener. This prominent corner wh… Read more ...
April 19, 2022
  It has become something of an office tradition for our staff to participate in Jane's Walk, the annual community-based approach to city building that uses volunteer-led walking tours to encourage people to rediscover the value of walking, and to observe, reflect, share, question and re-imagine the places in which they live, work and play. With the return to in-person events for 2022, no less than three of our staff members have planned Jane's Walks for the first full weekend of May (7-8).    The Towers Among Us, with John   On Saturday afternoon, John is inviting the community on a walk around downtown to learn about the history of architectural towers and the factors that govern their design. … Read more ...
John MacDonald Architect is interested in hiring an architecture student to join our team in Kitchener. Undergraduate students seeking co-op placements are encouraged to apply. Preference is for a student able to start May 2022.    Our office is a small team of eight that is presently working on a vast range of projects including adaptive reuse of heritage properties, residential care (including emergency shelters, group homes, and supportive housing), and various institutional projects including a library, office renovations, and maintenance facilities, as well as a handful of private residences. We offer exposure to all phases of project development and mentorship from the firm principal and senior level staff.   The successful applicant will work in perso… Read more ...

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John was recently invited to deliver a keynote address to the Southern Ontario Growth Conference, organized by 50 by 2030 Waterloo Region. The focus of the second day, when John spoke, was to help municipalities connect with organizations, experts, academia and other municipalities who have knowledge and resources to help them better incorporate responses to climate change into their official plans.   John's address, titled The middle isn’t missing, it has been misplaced, is now up on YouTube and can be viewed below:     With respect to the planning of our communities, John's keynote advocates for fundamental changes to the planning process, and for transparency in the planners' role, to give us hope for different result… Read more ...
Stage 1: Information Package   John MacDonald Architect is looking for a bright professional to join our Waterloo Region firm. We wish to augment and diversify our capacity in the key areas of communication and information management, project team support, marketing and promotion.   Our Firm Our small, full service design consultancy provides personal and caring service from project conception to completion. We apply our processes and expertise on behalf of a wide variety of clients, for projects ranging in scale from urban to building to interior and object design.    We are often the co-ordinating centre of an overall project team, focusing client and other consultants to the task at hand. We lead multi-disciplinary teams that integrate creativity… Read more ...

Enrich your experience of architecture with tips on how to draw from your own perceptions.

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June 28, 2021
Architects are often asked   “What is it that you do?”   Where other professions may generate straightforward reputations, the nature and value of this thing called “design” is less easy to pin down, and the role of the architect in that design more obscure still. Architects of course can be grouped in a variety of ways, but the tendency is for division by the “use” to which our offerings are put: the Product of the project, be it hospital, hotel, or office. This creates confusion more than understanding, since architects aren’t retailers of buildings.   We are trained in a Process, a “how do you do”, and offer that process to a variety of projects so that excellent and meaningful solutio… Read more ...
Team Lashley + JMA is proud to submit its concept for the National Monument for Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan, as one of five finalist teams in this national competition. The design can be viewed online, with public input by filling out a short survey. This consultation stage will assist the jury in evaluating the proposals.   To review the finalists' designs, visit the Government of Canada Competition website.   View within Monument Plaza   The core team, of David Lashley (Ottawa • Montreal), John MacDonald (Kitchener), and Sandra Dunn (Kitchener), has worked these last months to design a monument that honours those who served. It supports meaningful discussion and thoughtful contemplation of Canada's’ role in our World, and th… Read more ...
John MacDonald   I’ve been reading an article entitled Why You Should Use an Architect for Your Project, from the 2011 Ontario Association of Architects "Profiles 2011" Membership guide. Although  the article is interesting, informative, and mostly on target in the mind of this particular architect, I couldn’t help but wonder how a broader audience receives its message.   The article basically takes the point of view that a professional can help you make informed and important decisions about your project, with your best interests in mind. So far so good. It also points out that your project can benefit from the architect’s perspective on how the project can contribute to the quality of our communities and public interest. That̵… Read more ...
Natural daylighting is a strategy we attempt to use in every design we undertake. It is a no-brainer in our eyes to light a space with the sun. Daylighting has many benefits including;   sunlight views to the exterior electricity savings   The sun has a path that it travels each day throughout the season. The path has two angles that affect how a space can be daylit. There is an angle relative to the building usually indicated by North, South, East, and West. Then there is the angle above the earth. Each direction that the light comes through has a different characteristic.   North light is consistent. The sun never gets close to north in this region, so the light entering a north window is never direct rays but incident light reflected off of … Read more ...
April 01, 2021
A graceful and delightful home design succeeds in achieving great relationships between the parts and the whole.   Designing a home is one of the toughest challenges for everyone. At first seemingly so simple (three bedroom, 2 storey, etc), a house can be quite complex. That is because a house has to support its residents and guests in everything they do: through different stages of life, eating, sleeping, resting, dreaming, playing, learning, working, cooking, entertaining, and lots more. Additionally, there might be a demand to accommodate for particular needs, either for accessibility, or work/ hobby related, or particular preferences. The construction of this house spared the tree so the entry experience could be organized around it. This tree is now a delightful feat… Read more ...

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