Founded in 1971, Kneider Architects is a leading Architectural and Interiors Firm across the commercial and institutional sectors, concentrating on schools, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, recreational and sporting facilities, office centres, and commercial spaces. Bringing a multi-faceted service approach to the architectural industry, Kneider Architects specializes in interior design, planning, and consulting as well as architectural practice.
While primarily operating in the Canadian marketplace, Kneider Architects has also engaged in projects in Russia, Poland, Morocco, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and China — as well as a chain of developments across South America. In Canada, Kneider Architects is a well-recognized school designer across the educational sector and has also completed many automotive dealerships including Jaguar, Land Rover, and Volvo from coast to coast.
The hallmark of any Kneider Architects project is its commitment to ensuring that each project meets the highest of standards and promises an exceptional end product for its clients. Kneider Architects attributes much of its success to its staff and its key industry partners. Kneider Architects is dedicated to offering innovative design concepts across a wide variety of building types. Quite simply, Kneider Architects is not your typical cookie-cutter architectural designer.
“Every project that we do is very different,” George Kneider, Principal Architect with Kneider Architects, told The Canadian Business Journal. “We are not slotted in as arena designers or commercial designers. We do a fair amount of these projects but they are very different in a lot of ways. We try to understand the issues of our clients rather than simply saying, ‘We are architects and we have designed this before.’ Every project to us is a whole new experience.”
Most recently, Kneider Architects completed the Sharon Arena Sports Complex in East Gwillimbury. The project is a twin-pad sports complex that includes six dressing rooms, a new lobby, meeting areas, plus an added community centre and entertainment space. As a result, Kneider Architects had gained a certain expertise toward developing sports complex centres, and in recent years has proposed several similar facilities, including a Retractable Dome Stadium Proposal in Hamilton, a Waterfront Development in Trenton, Ont., which includes two ice rinks and the conversion of one surface to a swimming pool in the offseason, plus concert productions with a revolving stage. Another proposal, the Port Lands Arena Project in Toronto, covers three ice rinks, a restaurant, and commercial space.
“While we have completed work across Canada, we are still a small firm, like a boutique practice,” Kneider said. “We are now looking at engaging in larger arena projects.”
In another project, Kneider Architects has designed the new Canadian corporate head office, showroom, and warehouse for Centura Floor & Wall Tile in Toronto.
Many new and innovative products were developed and used in this project including one metre by three metre ceramic wall tile panels on the exterior of the building developed in concert with Ontario Panelization. By connecting two separate buildings Kneider Architects was able to produce a completely new image to the client by relocating the offices and showroom from Apex to Lawrence Avenue.
On the institutional side, Kneider Architects designed a new school for St. Timothy Catholic School in Toronto. While the school board had initially intended to renovate its original building, Kneider Architects proposed a new building that would keep the students at the same site in addition to a brand new school with all the desired amenities at only 15 per cent more cost. The new elementary school houses a unique design in many ways, including a rainbow staircase, where each step is painted different colours of the rainbow.
Looking toward the future, Kneider Architects sees more of a shift toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and building with sustainability in mind. Common themes include greater exposure to natural light sources, improved access to green spaces, increased energy efficiencies, and the reuse of collected rainwater. For example, with the Sharon Arena project, Kneider Architects – proposed solar roof panels which will not only reduce electricity costs for the arena but will in fact put excess electricity back into the grid.
The company also sees continued growth and expansion in its future, particularly on the sustainability side. As Kneider concluded, “I want to spend more time in research and development of products that I think will make an impact on the environment, on our way of life, and heading toward being more self-sustainable than ever. I still love what I do and I think I am very fortunate. Every day I get up and I can’t wait to get to work; I should say ‘get to play’, because I get paid to do what I love.”