dpai architecture inc. is an award-winning, full-service architecture, interiors and urban design studio, taking a context-first approach to design. dpai’s work encompasses institutional, commercial, educational, multi-residential and single-family space, emphasizing a balance between bold vision and grounded, design-driven solutions. The firm is big on collaboration, partnering with clients to elevate their vision. Having worked on some of the most notable projects in the city and beyond, dpai understands the transformative effect of architecture.
Born and raised in Hamilton, David Premi has always been a passionate advocate for the arts. David was a founding director of Cabbagetown Theatre Company in Toronto where he acted, directed, and designed sets for live theatre. He has made short films and plays the guitar. Most recently he led the renaissance of the Hamilton Arts Council as President.
David brings this artistic passion to his architectural practice. After six years as an Associate Partner with RDH in Toronto, David decided to invest in a city on the rise, moving back to Hamilton and establishing dpai in 2005. The decade that followed has seen David build the studio into an award-winning, highly collaborative, and multidisciplinary architecture, interior design and urban design practice working on some of the most exciting projects in the city and beyond. Throughout, David’s focus has been on elevating the language of design, its place in the community and its relationship to city building—an approach that’s typified by an OAA Award of Excellence, and a Chicago Athenaeum Award for the design of Hamilton Public Library and Farmer’s Market.
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Studio Synergist Elena Balaska was born and raised in Athens, Greece. After receiving her BA in International Affairs, Elena flew to Cardiff, UK to complete a MA in International Public Relations. Having worked across the fashion, arts and entertainment industries in Greece, United Kingdom and Canada for almost a decade, Elena brings a solid marketing and management skill set to her role at dpai. When not in the office (or playing dress-up with her young daughter) Elena contributes her international style experience to help promote Hamilton’s growing fashion industry by organizing events and coordinating fashion editorials in a local newspaper.
Elena is also a member of the Arts Advisory Commission with the City of Hamilton, and Co-Chair of the Marketing Committee of the Hamilton – Halton Home Builders Association.
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Originally from New Brunswick, Patty Clydesdale began her career at the age of 19 with a major Canadian airline honing her French language skills in Quebec City before landing in Toronto to pursue a career in Interior Design. After receiving her Diploma with Honours at Humber College, Patty worked in the corporate commercial sector with Straticom Planning Associates, then joined Cannon Design to pursue institutional and healthcare design. A committed urban dweller, Patty relocated to Hamilton, drawn to its vibrant arts scene, architecture and engaged community, where she sought a local firm committed to urban renewal. Patty rounds out the architectural team as a Registered Interior Designer (ARIDO) and takes a lead role with dpai’s interiors work, driving end-user consultation, space planning, FF&E and project management. Patty contributes time outside of work towards a variety of community-building initiatives with the Sherman Hub Community Planning Team.
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Educated in Dubai, Petra Matar graduated from the American University of Sharjah with a degree in Architecture. A dedicated artist that draws inspiration from the arts, culture, modern physics, anthropometrics and mechanics, Petra found a perfect canvas upon which to express her eclectic interests when she moved to Hamilton. Committed to the local arts community, Petra served as a member of the Hamilton Arts Council. In the field of architecture, Petra has participated in both local and international projects and competitions. Throughout her professional career, Petra has won numerous awards in both architecture and visual arts including first prize in the 2014 Hamilton Burlington Society of Architects & Young Architects of Hamilton HBSA Design Award Competition. Petra loves her rescue cat, “Galaxy”. She enjoys cooking and experimenting with new dishes that she shares with family and friends and can be found penning sketches around the office.
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From biking across Canada to singing in a choir, Molly epitomizes the ever-curious architect. Raised in Hamilton, surrounded by the natural wonders the region has to offer, Molly pursued her BSc in Environmental Sciences at McGill University. She spent her final semester in Panama, immersed in a new language while exploring strategies for community conservation of mangrove forests.
It wasn’t until she travelled to New Mexico and discovered a famous off-the-grid community that she decided a career as a scientist wasn’t for her. Instead, she sought to connect her prior studies with the pursuit of designing thoughtful and sustainable buildings that respond to their environment.
Molly went on to pursue her Masters in architecture at Dalhousie University, where she was awarded an M.Arch Thesis Prize upon graduation. Throughout her education, she participated in a design/build at a school in Northern India, led accessibility studies for the City of Hamilton, designed and built a moveable stage set for a dance performance, and investigated honest approaches to heritage preservation with keen attention to the history and poetry of a space.
Today, Molly brings her experience and cheerful spirit into her work as an Intern Architect here at dpai.
Pablo Navarro is a licensed Architect with the Ontario Association of Architects and a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Pablo holds a Master’s degree in Urban Design from the University of Toronto. He received his Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Guadalajara in Mexico. Pablo has over 15 years of experience with a focus on residential, commercial and institutional design as well as new construction, renovations, additions, adaptive reuse projects and master planning. He has gained a reputation for having expertise in project management, a solid knowledge of building codes, the ability to work with authorities having jurisdiction for planning and building approvals, and a strong commitment to design integrity. Pablo was drawn to Hamilton’s authentic character and urban grit as well as dpai’s urban renewal work. He can often be spotted going for long nighttime runs to keep his creative energy flowing.
Since an early age David has always been fascinated by architecture and the concepts behind building construction. While growing up in Hamilton, David became increasingly interested in the ever-changing back-drop of the city. Having worked in Hamilton for 5 years with a focus on Residential and Commercial projects, David brings a solid understanding of architectural details and a strong work-ethic. With a passion for art and the city, David has joined dpai to help shape his hometown into a better place. When out of the office David enjoys travelling to new destinations, as well as walking and taking in the local sites the city has to offer.
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Born and raised in Toronto, Siubhan Taylor has always been a creative person, expressing herself any way that she could. She decided to pursue Interior Design as a career, initially drawn to the idea of positively shaping the way people live and work through creative expression.
After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design from Humber College, she worked for Philip Beesley Architect Inc, making strong contributions to numerous of the studio’s experimental installations. Siubhan took responsibility in Toronto and overseas for major parts of the production and installation of the Spring Dragon Tail environment, an immersive sculpture mounted in Shanghai. Siubhan also made significant progress with PBAI’s experimental textile design, working on new textiles for Iris Van Herpen’s experimental haute couture collection. The textiles were included in Iris Van Herpen’s Hacking Infinity collection at Paris Fashion Week 2015.
Since her departure from PBAI, Siubhan relocated to Hamilton, inspired by the city’s potential, vibrant art and music scenes.
In her free time, she enjoys tinkering with her 3D printer, and dreaming of designing her own art installation.
Along with creative flare, she brings passion and dedication for design to the dpai team.
Brady graduated from Mohawk College with an advanced diploma in Architectural Technology, as well as a diploma in construction engineering. He always approaches his work with a passion for environmentally friendly design, and is an eager participant in dpai’s initiatives in shaping the future of the city. A lover of the arts, you can usually catch Brady listening to a surprisingly diverse catalogue of music ranging from Frank Sinatra to slam metal. He is active in the community and plays Rugby at a local club.