Brigitte Shim was born in Jamaica in 1958 and emigrated to Canada in 1965. She received a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in 1981 and a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1983 from the University of Waterloo. She apprenticed with Arthur Erickson Architects, Vancouver, in 1981 and worked for Baird/Sampson Architects, Toronto, from 1983-1987. She has been a faculty member at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto since 1988 and has been an invited visiting professor at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design (1993 and 1996) and at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (2002) as well as invited visiting chair at Yale University's School of Architecture (2001, 2005, 2008, 2010). She has served on numerous committees in the fields of design and architecture, including the Board of Build Toronto and the National Capital Commission's Architectural Advisory Board. She is on the editorial board of Praxis - a journal of writing and building. In 2007, she served on the Aga Khan Architecture Award Master Jury.
Howard Sutcliffe was born in Yorkshire, England in 1958 and emigrated to Canada in 1964. He received a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in 1981 and a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 1983 from the University of Waterloo. He worked with Ronald Thom in 1984-85, Barton Myers from 1985 to 1987 and Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects from 1987 to 1995. He has participated in international and national competitions and built projects, including the Kitchener City Hall. In 1991, he was the first recipient of the Ronald J. Thom Award, given by the Canada Council for early design achievement.
Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe have collaborated since 1983. Their work has included projects in the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture and furniture design. Their earliest built works-an architectural garden in Don Mills (1988-89), a house on a remote lakefront property in Haliburton, Ontario (1989-1991), and the architects' own residence in Toronto (1991-1994)-were all honoured with awards from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. The 2 residential projects also won awards from the Canada Wood Council.
In 1994, Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe established the firm Shim-Sutcliffe architects. In 1996, they designed a combined residence and workspace in Toronto with a construction budget of $100,000. The project won awards from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the American and Canadian wood councils and the journal Architectural record.
Between 1996 and 2000 the architectural office of Shim-Sutcliffe designed 3 highly acclaimed projects in Ontario: Ledbury Park in Toronto, a boathouse on Lake Muskoka, and the dining hall for Moorelands Camp at Lake Kawagama.
Since 2000, the firm has designed residential, institutional and religious architecture, including a library and chapel at Massey College, the Corkin Gallery, the Frum Collection of African Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Bet Ha'am Synagogue in Portland, Maine. The Integral House in Toronto, a project combining a private residence and performance space, was completed in 2009.
Furniture designed by the firm has won awards and represented Canadian design in international exhibitions.
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