ARIDO Awards 2015

ARIDO Awards 2014

Award-winning Projects

Awards of Excellence
Finch Avenue Optometry
Interior Designer : Tania Bortolotto, ARIDO
Design Firm : Bortolotto Design
Located on a busy stretch in North Toronto, the Finch Avenue Optometry conveys a contemporary and glamorous space by taking cues from the idea of vision. The sanctuary-like retail showroom and waiting area are defined by an understated luxury. Inspired by the shape of the eye, the prominent ocular lighting fixture ignites the space, highlighting the experience of seeing. White lacquered display shelves unify their contents though recessed LED reflecting lights, creating an ideal backdrop for showcasing prominent shapes, sizes and colours of eyewear frames. Polished stone tile flooring further reflects ambient light. The result is a design that plays on the themes of contrast, perception, light and the sculptural shape of the eye.
Awards of Merit
Bennington Heights
Interior Designer : Simon Rowlands,ARIDO
Design Firm : Rowlands Associates Inc
Design Team :Stuart Cotter, Intern ARIDO
A re-design opportunity presented itself to a long-time neighborhood residence of Bennington Heights with the purchase of this 300 foot deep property in mid-town Toronto. The house’s interior design expresses a confident modern space evoking a sense of calm and well-being. The front den and entry were opened up and lightened, and the stairs treated in a contemporary style with careful wood and glass detailing. The living room was relocated to the centre of the home, and side windows were reshaped to allow more natural light to the centre of the space. A back-to-back fireplace serves both the living room and kitchen areas, funnelling natural light to the middle of the home.
Heathdale Residence
Interior Designer : Michael Krus, ARIDO
Design Firm : TACT Design Inc.
Designed to project a resolute demeanor, this custom single-family residence stands out as a contemporary house in Cedarvale Park, mid-town Toronto. The home’s 3,200-square-foot interior communicates a carefully crafted modern inner core, grounded by the sculpted wooden stair, which culminates at the third-floor study and wrap-around terrace. The front dining area finds its comfort under the brow of the striking yet reserved Corten face. Expansive windows allow residents to dwell among the ravine’s tree canopy while the space of the lower family area is complemented by a shaded rear yard.
Michael Angelo's
Interior Designer : Brian Bettencourt, ARIDO
Design Firm : Watt International Inc.
Design Team :Paulis Ciskevicius, ARIDO
Situated in Markham, Ontario, the design of Michael Angelo’s retail shop conveys authenticity through Old World tradition and modern sensibilities. The design delivers a contemporary, fluid and functional space, with an aesthetic that supports an experience steeped in specialty foods and establishes an emotional connection through visual storytelling. The flow of the space is embroidered by crafted signage reminiscent of individual store fronts. Each department is an authority within its own specialty, signage helps to visually guide shoppers from one area to another. The textural features on the white painted antique brick echo a handcrafted quality brought to the store’s prepared foods.
Village Juicery
Interior Designer : Ashley Rumsey, ARIDO Stanley Sun, ARIDO
Design Firm : Mason Studio Inc.
Design Team :Ming Chen, ARIDO
Located in Toronto’s Little Italy, the Village Juicery is an example of retail space where the use of materials and construction detailing reflects the quality of the products offered. The freestanding LT-foot central island is a multi-functional grounding element containing point of sale equipment, a recessed cooler for product sampling, and a small seating area for one-on-one consultations and small group seminars. The design incorporates flexible merchandise shelving system and custom millwork, which hold the point-of-sale equipment and effectively stores operational wares. Inherently simple materials such as white ceramic tile, birch plywood and raw steel are brought together with thoughtful joinery techniques to reflect the purity of the juices.
Abet Laminati
Interior Designer : Joe Cho, ARIDO
Design Firm :JCHO Design

Created to portray the range of design opportunities of its products, the Abet Laminati office in Mississauga, Ontario, showcases a multitude of different spaces that could be conceived with the firm’s materials. The designers were given artistic licence to exhibit materials. By combining interior and exterior materials not traditionally intended to be used together in a space, the design created a vessel for visitor interaction. Visitors who first step through the double glass doors are welcomed by an iconic angled chip-sample board that proudly stands out, befitting the entire reception back. The office suites, lunch area, media board and staircase are concept designs that showcase the variety in style, mood and the range of uses for each material. The result is an innovative, contemporary design that creates a welcoming showcase space for visitors.
Interior Designer : Michel Arcand, ARIDO Don Parker, ARIDO
Design Firm : IN8 Design Inc.
Design Team :Gillian Gregory, ARIDO
Environics, a market research and consulting firm, saw an opportunity in its upcoming renovation plan to make its workplace more engaging, interactive and collaborative for staff and visitors. The solution was a graphically exciting all-glass reception area with a new LED backlit wordmark, panelled with laminated glass from wall to ceiling. Segments of custom film graphic murals on the elevator doors combined with ceiling LED strips on the elevator arches light the space, creating a light, open effect. One of the sustainability features of the design include tackable panels made of recycled plastic bottles. A new lunchroom, boardroom and two smaller meeting rooms with folding partitions were created, permitting multiple layouts of space that also include a completely programmable A/V theatre seating up to 100 people.
HOK Toronto Offices
Interior Designer : Caitlin Turner, ARIDO Sharon Turner, ARIDO
Design Firm : HOK, Inc.
Design Team :Clarissa Lam, ARIDO Daniela Barbon, ARIDO Lisa Fulford-Roy, ARIDO Jamie Khan, Intern ARIDO
The decision to reduce real estate space was as an opportunity for this architectural firm to foster recognition as a forward thinking employer providing a progressive workplace. The design lent itself to creating a reception area that serves as a working lounge and breakout space. The 360-degree views influenced the planning of the space, as access to natural sunlight is balanced with operable movable walls that offer multiple meeting settings and sizes. New furnishings mixed with reused classic pieces and “found objects” fashion a creative and eccentric space. The result is a timeless professional workplace that is technologically advanced, providing employees a range of choices of work and collaboration areas.
Sick Kids Ophthalmology
Interior Designer : Angxuan Sun, ARIDO
Design Firm : Zeidler Partnership Architects
The Toronto Sick Kids Hospital Ophthalmology was in need of a renovation that would increase its visual connections between the main reception and the waiting area. A series of playhouse-shaped niches were cut into the wall of the waiting room with different heights and colours, allowing strategic views from the reception. The playful shapes and colours in the design create a comfortable place for children and help to alleviate the stress of a medical appointment or procedure. The inlaid colour floor patterns help to create easy visual wayfinding, especially for people with low vision. The resulting space provides a family-friendly and non-institutional environment while effectively meeting functional requirements.
The Williamsburg Uptown, Seniors Living
Interior Designer : Judy Newcombe, ARIDO
Design Firm : Newcombe Design Associates Inc.
Design Team : Heather Wallace, Intern ARIDO
Located in Burlington, Ontario, the Williamsburg Uptown Seniors Living residence was designed with the intent to elevate the residents’ quality of life and to contribute to a strong sense of community. The character of the spaces was achieved with full consideration of the maintenance schedules, while achieving an elegant, bright and gracious transitional environment. The hotel quality of the facility is conveyed by the choice of contemporary lines and subtly coloured carpet of the lobby and the common rooms. By creating different dining environments and styles with a variety of seating options, from bar-height seating to traditional tables, the residents are given the freedom of choice and flexibility, further fostering residents’ independence.
Noir Presentation Centre
Interior Designer : Mike Niven, ARIDO
Design Firm : Mike Niven Interior Design Inc.
The sales centre for a 49-storey condominium project, located on Peter Street at King in Toronto’s entertainment district, targets a sophisticated clientele. The 1,793-square-foot showroom was constructed with a dramatic glass door entrance, taking visible cues from a fashion inspired composition of black tie and lace, evoking neo-Gothic sensibility. Polished bronze panels of the reception desk reflect the textured herringbone floors and the “lace” canopy offsets the modern desk lamps. The open sales area presents a contrast to the backlit black lace canopy, showcasing the sensibility of the suites.
Atlas Recreation Centre
Interior Designer : Tarisha Dolyniuk, ARIDO
Design Firm : MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects
Situated in the Town of Lakeshore, Ontario, the Atlas Tube Recreation Centre was conceived as a large multi-use community recreation centre, with long-span arenas, a library, gymnasium and a modular aquatic centre. Visitors are greeted at the main entrance by an expansive glass facade that promotes the primary donor names in bold typography in the knock-out areas of a steel tube pattern. Steel tubes throughout the facility provide directional wayfinding information with tube lengths representing the distance to the destination. A central entrance lobby with public meeting rooms connects the space between the two plan bars and offers a large gathering area throughout the courtyard that can be used for community organized events.
Branksome Hall Athletics & Wellness Centre
Interior Designer : Tarisha Dolyniuk, ARIDO
Design Firm : MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects

The new Athletics & Wellness Centre was conceived as a multi-use facility that is connected to the existing Branksome Hall. Large windows permeate abundant natural light deep into the space and provide a visual connection to the school’s heritage and natural surroundings. Taking cues from the exterior, a natural palette of materials, finishes and textiles is tailored throughout the two-storey facility. Warm vertical white oak-slat screening throughout the facility improve acoustics, while providing a continuous visual reference to the adjacent forest ravine. A series of internal walkways with interconnected ground and second floors encourage students to interact and engage with athletics, and inspire involvement in the athletic community.
Centennial College, Ashtonbee Campus Student Hub, Library & Athletics
Interior Designer : Tarisha Dolyniuk, ARIDO
Design Firm : MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects
Located in Toronto, the Centennial College Ashtonbee Campus was designed to establish contemporary relevance with the addition of a new Library and Student HUB building to act as the “Social Heart” of the campus. The exterior conveys a figurative and literal “Bridge,” while the interiors palette and furniture combined the automotive theme while supporting the requirements of comfortable, open, and creative learning and social spaces. Vibrantly coloured rubber floor material clad to painted steel formed the benches in the student forum, creating a distinct design feature. The choice of trans- parent materials and negative space allows views into areas, creating a visually linked and energetic space. The result is a sophisticated space that has a direct connection to the automotive history of the campus.
Children's Aid Society of Ottawa
Interior Designer : Bryan Wiens, ARIDO Lauren Coburn, ARIDO
Design Firm : LWG Architectural Interiors Inc.

The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa was in need of a space that embodies professionalism and trust in both the public and clients alike. The renovation of the reception, meeting and waiting areas convey a unified aesthetic through a palette of wood-plank luxury vinyl flooring, with a selection of a variety of light fixtures and furnishings to create a residential feel. Bold primary colours were used in the design to create a comfortable place for children. The choice of materials ties the compartmentalized areas together while still allowing for each area to take on an individual character to suit the function of the space.
Darryl J. King Student Life Centre, Kings University College
Interior Designer : Michelle M. Sta Ana-Ascenzi, ARIDO
Design Firm : Perkins + Will
Design Team : Joanne D’Silva, ARIDO
Situated in London, Ontario, The Darryl J. King Student Life Centre brings a suite of much-needed student amenities to the campus while creating a connection between a signature public space and academic activities. A grand two-storey Student Lounge is centred on a soaring stone hearth that looks onto a verdant courtyard of hardwood trees. Abundant natural light casts onto the space, where warm limestone, wood and copper materials are used to articulate the program elements and connect the interior to the campus landscape at large. Against this robust material backdrop, finer-grained interior design elements such as millwork, lighting and furnishings create shifts in scale and animate with colour to focus activity and invite interaction.
Durham College Centre for Food
Interior Designer : Valerie Gow, ARIDO
Design Firm : Gow Hastings Architects Inc.

Located in Whitby, Ontario, the Durham College Centre for Food evokes the culinary narrative of making a meal from “field to fork”. Warm woods, soft stones and natural colours create an inviting and open atmosphere conveying a connection to nature. Ample windows cast light into the heart of the atrium where a two-storey living-wall herb garden encompasses the space, the atrium also serves as a central meeting place for events and celebrations. Showcasing food preparation, the windows on the floor above provide a glimpse into the culinary labs, where marble, Corian, stainless steel and ceramic tile reduce visual clutter, maintain sanitation and enhance function..
Merchandise Building
Interior Designer : Tania Bortolotto, ARIDO
Design Firm : BORTOLOTTO
Taking cues from industrial machinery and the Art Deco movement, the walls and edges of the merchandise building condominium lobby were re-designed to incorporate steppes and tapered elements providing texture and pattern to the space. The new design introduced a smooth, continuous, harmonious curved corridor and lobby area that can be seen as two walls of ribbon weaving its way from one entrance to the other. Paying homage to the buildings historic presence, the design incorporated exposing parts of the buildings industrial elements, respecting its historic value. The resulting renovation of the common areas introduces a finished, polished and fresh aesthetic, creating an exciting contrast to the existing spaces.
St. Leo's Church
Interior Designer : Stanley Kedzierski, ARIDO
Design Firm : Urban Parallel Inc.

The restorative undertaking of Saint Leo’s Church in Toronto presented itself as a blank canvas. The design recreates the space into a celebrative, reflecting and joyful environment that could once again stir one’s positive emotions. Natural light bathes the stained-glass windows, casting on the inlaid porcelain tiles of different patterns and colours with matte and reflective polished finishes. The existing Gothic and Roman arches form a contrast against the colour palette, with geometric patterns that accentuate and visually connect the colourfully restored stained glass, new Byzantine style icons and the gilded stars of a rich cobalt-blue vaulted ceiling..
Centennial College Student Hub Benches & Workstations
Interior Designer : Tarisha Dolyniuk, ARIDO
Design Firm : MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects
The specialty furniture of the new Centennial College Ashtonbee Campus Hub conveys an innovative approach, while supporting the requirements of a comfortable, open and creative social-learning space. Brightly coloured durable rubber floor material, clad to painted steel formed benches in the student forum, wrap workstation surfaces and social pods. As a prominent feature in the space of the building that sees high-traffic use, the benches promote social interaction and are designed to maintain their quality throughout the building’s life cycle. The material palette, assemblies, and details of the custom furniture are all expressive of the automotive culture on campus; instilling a sense of identity and history within the student community.
Due West
Interior Designer : Caroline Robbie, ARIDO
Design Firm : Quadrangle Architects Limited
Design Team : Victoria McGlade, Intern ARIDO
This well-established apparel retailer located in the heart of Queen West’s clothing district underwent a design solution that took the store’s 2,750-squarefoot volume and turned it into a single display unit. Created from a fully customizable metal system, the display weaves its way around the store integrating lighting, walls, ceiling and merchandising fixtures. The design provides a modular, flexible and highly customizable system of clothing racks, which deliver moments for curated visual vignettes for varying the density of merchandise across all seasons. The point of sale was moved from the back of the store to the front and was redesigned to be a key feature and a merchandising element. A custom wood slab table was reclaimed and integrated into the fixture system, lending warmth to the space.
60 Atlantic Avenue
Interior Designer : Caroline Robbie, ARIDO
Design Firm : Quadrangle Architects Limited
Design Team : Dyonne Fashina, ARIDO Julie Mroczkowski, ARIDO Victoria McGlade, Intern ARIDO
The restorative and adaptive re-use of the 1898 former warehouse at 60 Atlantic Avenue in Liberty Village celebrates Toronto’s industrial heritage. The interior design’s identity and markings of long life are explored through a series of contemporary design elements that modernize the space and depict the history of the site through experiential graphic elements and historical illustrations. Vinyl translucent panels stretch the length of the gently sloping ground floor of the circulation corridor depicting the Goad’s Fire Atlas illustrations of the former industrial heart of Toronto. Material insertions and the use of colour to highlight the existing iron tie-back rods and key historical construction elements, further provided storytelling of the structure’s 117-year-old history.

Judges 2015
  • Bryan Chartier   ARIDO, IDC, B.E.D.S., M.Arch.

    Director of Interior Design - Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.
    Bryan Chartier is an award-winning Interior Designer with 21 years of professional experience in commercial, corporate, hospitality, recreational, institutional and residential interiors. He is a fully registered member of ARIDO and IDC.

    Trained as an architect, Bryan has a firm footing in both building design and interior design facilitating a seamless design process. He is known for his holistic approach to integrating natural materials and the latest technology into modern, functional spaces.
    His work has received several ARIDO, Design Exchange and Best of Canada Awards as well as an IIDA Award. 

    Bryan joined Diamond Schmitt Architects in 2015 as Director of Interior Design where he is responsible for integrating interior design into their projects from concept to completion.

  • Vanessa Fong   B.Sc., M.Arch., OAA Licensed Architect

    Sole Proprietor - VFA.
    A Toronto based Architect with LEED accreditation, Vanessa Fong has been licensed with the Ontario Association of Architects since 2009. With a Masters in Architecture from McGill University, Vanessa’s interest in architecture lies in the problem solving nature of space and the integrated realm of architecture and interior design. Her experience ranges from large-scale master planning, mixed-use developments, commercial and single-family home renovations.

    Vanessa currently runs her architecture firm, VFA, which has a particular focus on renovations and the rich quality of space that can be created when a contemporary intervention interplays with existing fabric. She is also the Co-owner of Fold, Toronto’s first co-working space created for architecture and interior design professionals. Vanessa has also been a Councilor on the Ontario Association of Architects since 2014 and is the current VP of Communications.

  • Michele Gunn  ARIDO, BID, IDA, IDC, Licensed Interior Designer AAA

    Owner - Michele Gunn Interior Design Inc.
    Michele has been practicing interior design for the past 36 years, 33 of which were in Calgary, Alberta.  She currently runs her own interior design consulting firm, Michele Gunn Interior Design, and works remotely as a Senior Associate at Sizeland Evans Interior Design Inc., a full service interior design firm in Calgary, Alberta.  She is a Fellow member of the Interior Designers of Alberta, a Registered member of the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario, and a member of the Interior Designers of Canada.  She is also a Licensed Interior Designer member of The Alberta Association of Architects

    Michele is proficient in both the design related and technical aspects of her profession.  She has extensive years of programming and project management experience in the Calgary marketplace.

    Michele specializes in Multi-floor Corporate projects, Project Management, and Contract Administration.  She is committed to her client’s interests and priorities, has earned their respect and trust, and consistently demonstrates her reliability and integrity in meeting their needs.

    Her experience is diverse, with projects ranging in size from 1,000 sq. ft. to 1.2 million sq ft .comprising of developer projects, insurance, oil and gas companies, retail, legal firms,
    and government and institutional projects. 

    Michele is very involved in the betterment of the profession of interior design.  She has served on the Council for the Alberta Association of Architects, the Board for the Alberta Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council, the Board of the Interior Designers of Canada, and the Council of the Interior Designers of Alberta.  She currently volunteers on ad-hoc Committees with the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario.

  • Erin Jenner   ACEID, ARIDO Educator, BID, IDC, NCIDQ, SCAD

    Instructor - Sheridan College
    Erin Jenner, BID (Hons), NCIDQ, ARIDO, IDC, Masters Candidate (SCAD)

    After graduating from Humber College’s Interior Design program over 15 years ago, Erin worked in various Toronto-based firms gaining extensive experience in corporate office, government, hospitality, dental and luxury residential design.  Branching out on her own – with a strong creative foundation, Erin started her own full-scope design practice Dexterity Design (’99) that specialized in dental and custom residential design.   NCIDQ qualified (’03) Erin is a registered interior designer (ARIDO) with a diverse portfolio of satisfied clients.  Erin is excited to announce the launch of iNSTUDIO design collaborative (, a new partnership with her friend and colleague Sheri-Lynn Crawford (BID, NCIDQ, ARIDO).

    Erin has also been a part-time professor in post-secondary Interior Design education for over a decade.  For the past 8 years she has taught at Sheridan College in the Interior Design department, with courses including: drafting, drawing, materials, design theory and studio.  From 2010-2012, Erin was acting Program Coordinator of Sheridan’s award-winning and reputable Interior Design Diploma program.  Erin has acted as guest design juror for the past 3 years at the Academy of Design (RCC). Committed to life-long learning, in 2012 Erin returned to attain her undergraduate degree, Bachelor of Interior Design (BID) graduating with honors and is currently in her last quarter of graduate studies, Master of Arts – Interior Design at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).  She has received repeat honors scholarship for maintaining a 4.0 GPA and her thesis and research focuses on creating future design activists through the implementation of socially centered curriculum in undergraduate education.

    An active member of the design and education community, Erin currently sits on the Development Committee for the Alternative Pathways Taskforce (ARIDO) and continues to volunteer her time in community initiatives, including the New Comer Youth Program (formerly St. Christopher House) Youth Fashion Show in Toronto, and continued pro-bono design services for The Last Door Recovery Society in Vancouver, BC.

  • Helena Ventrella   ARIDO, ASID, IDC, NCIDQ

    Prinicpal - Helena Ventrella Design Ltd.
    Helena launched her own design company in 1989 following a three year apprenticeship with George Robb Architect of Toronto, Neo Arch Limited, and Stephen Marshall Consultants Limited. 

    The mission of Helena Ventrella Design Limited is to provide premiere custom interior design services to commercial, hospitality, healthcare, institutional and residential clients.

    Over 26 years, Helena has established strong working relationships with architects, developers and contractors. She takes pride in her team’s ability to produce unique concepts and solutions as an integral component on all projects.  HVDL is highly sought after as a partner with many architectural firms and development companies due to construction and materials savvy and a unique ability to meet the most discerning of budgets.

    Favourite projects include spaces that provide healing qualities to all that enter. These include healing of the body, mind, spirit and soul and those that nurture learning, inspiration, socialization and creativity of individuals.

    Born and raised in the Windsor hospitality industry, Helena’s previous work experience includes all aspects of restaurant and hospitality management. Additionally, hands-on experience includes original fine art gallery framing, installation and preservation.

    Helena’s charitable work includes inaugural membership of the Hotel Dieu Heart of the City Hospital Foundation from June 2005-June 2008 and founding member of Just For Kids Committee raising thousands of dollars for Infant and Family Program, Hiatus House, Children’s Aid Society, Grace Hospital Neo-Natal intensive care unit from 1994-2000

    Member of the St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology Advisory Committee, Interior Design Department 2004-present

    Guest lecturer at St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology first year through third year students including instructing Interior Design Contracts 2002-present

    Member of the Windsor Design Association 2000-present

    Member of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce 2006-2010

    Member Walkerville BIA 2006-2010.

  • Anna Stranks   ARIDO, IDC, LEED AP

    Principal - Studio A Design Collaborative
    Anna Stranks is Principal of STUDIO A Design Collaborative, a design firm focused on Human Centered Design Solutions. Her portfolio of work includes design in national and international markets for corporate, large scale residential, Institutional, and healthcare sectors. In 1998 Anna received ARIDO’s Gold Award for Designer of the Year.

    Anna is a LEED Accredited Professional, actively involved in promoting sustainable design as well as universal design principals to interior environments. She has been a guest speaker at IIDEX on the subject of LEED on behalf of the CAGBC and on Healthy Environments sponsored by Azure Magazine.

    In 2002, Anna was invited by the Merchandise Mart Properties to lead the design of the first GREENLife Exhibit at IIDEX NeoCon. Anna and her team’s efforts successfully helped influenced manufacturers to accelerate their initiatives towards sustainable design principles within their own practice standards and product lines.

    As a registered member of ARIDO and IDC, Anna has held a past role as President of the ARIDO GTA Chapter and has participated on ARIDO’s Continuing Education Committee as a course reviewer. In 2006, She represented ARIDO and Canadian practitioners on a task force to help develop a Masters Program for Interior Designers across North America. Anna was a founding team member of ARTxDesigners Exhibition (AXD).

    After graduating from Ryerson School of Interior Design (RSID) and recognizing the importance of knowledge sharing, Anna has been a part-time instructor at RSID and is currently an adjunct professor at Humber College School of Applied Technology. She has participated on the RSID Advisory Council from 2002 to 2005 as President and Chair of Strategic Planning and currently participates on the Advisory Board at Humber College.