People

Cathy Tafler

B. Arch., OAA

Cathy studied architecture at the School of Architecture at the University of Toronto where she received a Bachelor of Architecture degree and an Honours award. She is a member of the Ontario Association of Architects and the Toronto Society of Architects.

Since founding the firm in 1986, Cathy has developed her skills for carefully listening to clients to understand their needs and help build consensus with larger groups. Working with the authorities have jurisdiction to help expedite approvals is another aspect of her work.

Cathy's focus is on the environmental aspects of the firm's designs. She was chair of the OAA's Committee on the Environment and part of the working group for the greening of worship spaces with Faith and the Common Good.

Cathy coordinated the work to obtain a federal government CBIP grant for the Unitarian Congregation project for energy efficiency, as well as a REDI grant for the solar thermal collectors for the supportive housing project on Delaware.

Recent projects include the Carrot Common green roof and the design of the bio-retention swale at the Unitarian Church.

Doug rylett

B. Arch., OAA

Doug graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the School of Architecture at the University of Toronto and is a member of the Ontario Association of Architects.

Doug has extensive experience in affordable and supportive housing. He was a founding member and Chair of the Housing Development Resource Centre, an organization which aided and supported the creation of small non-profit housing developments. He is a member of the Management Committee for Pathway Housing in Mississauga.

Doug worked on the design and technical details for the two major projects for Houselink Community Homes on Danforth and Delaware. The Danforth project was a restructuring of an existing 1920's apartment building with major structural repairs and all new building systems with the creation of common facilities. The Delaware project consisted of retaining the exterior walls of a large old house while converting and adding to it to create a 14 unit supportive housing residence.

Process

Working method

Catherine Tafler began the firm working on renovations and additions to private homes. When Doug Rylett joined the practice in 1996, the firm’s work expanded to include municipal parks and recreational buildings, supportive housing and institutional buildings.  

Our working method is to carefully listen to all of the concerns and requirements of our clients, reviewing precedents and presenting design options that respond to the issues. By reviewing a number of designs we build consensus within the client committees to ensure the successful completion of the project.

contextual design

Our buildings are integrated into their context, supporting the activities of the people within the buildings and the surrounding community. The form and materials of our designs complement the adjacent buildings and are incorporated into the landscape. The buildings and landscape form outdoor spaces with trees providing shaded micro-climates in the summer and wind breaks in the winter.

sustainable design

Environmental criteria guides our designs from the initial stages to the final occupancy. With careful siting we take advantage of solar energy, natural daylight and ventilation. Energy modelling helps determine the energy savings achievable through efficient mechanical and electrical systems, plumbing equipment and fixtures. The life cycle of the building materials considered, reviewing their method of production, durability and recyclability.  

The Unitarian Church project was analyzed to be 36% more efficient than the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB) and received federal funding from the Commercial Buildings Incentive Program (CBIP). For Houselink Community Homes, energy modelling was used to help choose the mechanical systems and methods of insulation for the Delaware project. Large, operable windows were included in all rooms to maximize daylight and natural ventilation. Six solar thermal panels were installed on the roof for domestic hot water, aided by a Renewable Energy Deployment Initiative (REDI) grant.  

Our designs work to provide buildings that are environmentally sustainable with healthy and supportive spaces.