BNKC Newsletter – May 2020



Project Introduction
North Oakville Mixed-Use Community (NOMiC)

The wide-open streets of North Oakville aren’t yet known for their pedestrian scale and cozy neighbourhood feel, but a new mixed-use community from Mattamy Homes, designed by BNKC, is aiming to change people’s perceptions about just that.

With a thoughtfully completed master plan, and design nearing completion, the North Oakville Mixed-Use Community (NOMiC) will boast six mid-rise residential buildings with an abundance of retail, commercial, amenity, and green space to serve residents and the larger local community.

Each building has been imagined in relationship to the others through a cohesive vision that promotes individual character, walkability, and a sense of urban environment at an appropriate scale.

In the first of four phases, two mid-rise buildings interlock and orient themselves toward the centre of the community, creating a network of active green spaces across a permeable raised terrace. Below, a generous plaza provides opportunities for community programming, and sets a welcoming tone for residents and visitors.


Early concept sketches explore the buildings’ relationship with each other, and their connectedness to the surrounding neighbourhood through a raised terrace, retail, and amenities.

We’ll share more about this exciting project as it develops. In the meantime, explore NOMiC and our Mixed-Use work here.

A Canadian Solution to a Global Crisis

In April the AEC industry came together to rapidly produce a proposed alternative care solution for COVID-19 patients in the most Canadian way possible – by retrofitting community hockey arenas.

Individuals spanning architecture, engineering, healthcare planning, infection control, construction, and manufacturing offered their own time and collaborated to create a solution which is flexible and adaptable by using a building archetype that is easily replicated across Canada.

This is a truly Canadian Community response. We’re glad we could contribute our ideas and we hope all can benefit from it. In the best scenario, this never needs to be implemented. In the worst, we feel a lot better knowing we have so many great thinkers in our industry.

See the solution and learn about more industry responses to the pandemic in this Canadian Architect article.

The Kids Are All Right

Budding designer Sabina, 11 year-old daughter to one of our project architects, wowed her mom and our team with this beautiful creation.

Using found objects from around the house, Sabina created a miniature home featuring a rooftop pool and green roof.

The interiors are complete with a bedroom and washroom. All plumbing fixtures were made using her collection of sea shells, beads, and a Kinder Egg surprise.

It’s great to see kids taking initiative to explore their interests. Are your kids making cool stuff during self-isolation? We’d love to see their creations! Tag us @bnkcarchitects.

Natalia Bakaeva – Registered Architect

BNKC team member Natalia Bakaeva recently received her OAA license to practice as a registered architect.

Natalia’s been part of our BNKC team since mid-2019, contributing to our residential portfolio. As one half of design collective Interspatial, art and design permeate all parts of her life. As a kid, Natalia dreamed of becoming an archaeologist – fascinated with peeling off the layers of the past. Now, as an architect she’ll get to add layers for future generations to discover.

Congratulations Natalia!

Taking Time to Take Care

As we approach our ninth week (!) working from home, our collective physical health has become a perpetual priority. Yet, there’s no denying that social isolation, pressing worries, and uncertainty about the future is taking its toll beyond our bodies.

In advance of Mental Health Week (May 4-10) our BNKC team held some open discussions to examine mental wellbeing – both our own and the architectural industry’s – to identify strategies to face these issues head on.

We invited the expert opinion of a registered social worker and therapist to provide tips for dealing with the stress and anxiety associated with COVID-19. Keeping active and getting daily exercise were her top tips, and we learned that taking care of our physical selves is key to mental wellbeing.

BNKC team members also offered their own perspectives on mental health. We heard personal success stories, shared resources, and questioned our industry’s position on wellbeing.

One of the most interesting points that emerged is the seemingly conflicting nature of critique as it relates to the architectural field. While many of our team agreed that a healthy amount of external and self-criticism can be motivating, too much can be overwhelming. In an industry that is steadfastly rooted in critique, striking a balance is key.

Elie Newman, who has been practicing for more than 40 years left us with some closing thoughts – while our architectural journey can be mentally and physically taxing, the result is always rewarding. If architecture is delicious torture, it’s up to us – individually and collectively – to keep the balance weighted to the positive side of that sentiment.

Through open discussion and regular check-ins, our team is taking the time to care of each other. Even as we practice social distance, we’re feeling closer than ever. We hope you’re discovering the tools to help yourself and those closest to you during these difficult times. If you need help, CMHA’s website is a great place to start.