Editor’s Note: This listing was updated on October 26, 2022.
Boasting a prestigious reputation for its rigorous curriculum, the University of Waterloo’s School of Architecture has trained some of the biggest names in the Canadian industry, including Siamak Hariri, Brigitte Shim and Alison Brooks. Its five-year undergraduate program alternates academic study terms with for a well-rounded perspective of the profession. The first semester of fourth year, which takes place in Rome (the school’s studio in the charming Trastevere neighbourhood is shared with the Pratt Institute), offers a first-hand experience of the foundations of architectural history.
In addition to design studio, the cohort takes three courses: Rome & The Roman Campagna, Italian Urban History and The Development of Modern Italian Architecture, integrated with trips to the North and South of Italy, as well as tours of several notable villas. A student-led exhibition rounds out the study-abroad experience. In 2021, Rick Haldenby, both an alumnus and faculty founder of the Rome program, was appointed to the Order of Canada for his impact on both the school and local community.
University of Waterloo student Julia Nakanishi‘s thesis project, Finding a New Commons, shown here and top of page.
Graduates are eligible for direct entry into the school’s Master’s program (applicants from other schools must complete two terms of transitional coursework prior to the thesis year). They can also pursue a specialization in Water, a collaborative interdisciplinary program jointly offered by 10 departments.
There are several opportunities to get involved in student initiatives while also honing valuable design, research and writing skills. These include BRIDGE, an organization that connects the school and local community; a student-run peer-reviewed journal entitled galt; and F_rmlab, a peer-to-peer learning platform focused on digital fabrication. With such well-rounded experience, students regularly win competitions including the CISC Student Design Competition and the AZ Awards.
Alison Brooks, Siamak Hariri, Brigitte Shim, Howard Sutcliffe, Peter Clewes, Omer Arbel, Paul Raff, Stephen Teeple
Philip Beesley, Adrian Blackwell, Janna Levitt, Rick Haldenby