Omar Gandhi Architect Inc. BEDS, MArch, OAA, MRAIC
Where did you start your #architecture training?
I attended Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia for both my Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies (BEDS) degree and my Master of Architecture (MArch) degree.
What has been your most inspiring project to work on?
My most inspiring project to work on is a restaurant that is currently under construction. It is the first time I am seeing a project through as Project Architect from start to finish and it has been an eye-opening experience to be involved in every single aspect, from city approvals to millwork drawings. It has been challenging but also incredibly rewarding
Tell us your favourite part about being an architect?
My favourite part about being an architect is working with people. As architects, we are designing spaces for people to live, work, eat, play... at the end of the day, it always comes back to people. Whether it’s the client, the users, the consultants, or even the building officials, it’s a very collaborative process and you have to be good at working with people (and you should enjoy it!) to strive in this profession, and that’s one of the aspects I like the most.
Do you have any passions outside of work?
I do my best to lead an active lifestyle outside of work, which ranges from exploring High Park with my greyhound and cycling around Toronto, to getting out of the city for canoe trips in Algonquin Park. I love to travel, particularly to destinations where I can explore different landscapes and cultures, improve my photography skills and ideally fit in some scuba diving! Fine arts has always been a passion of mine, and I try to make time for that in some capacity when possible.
How does ‘good’ architecture build the community?
I think ‘good’ architecture is design that captures the attention of the everyday user - in particular, people without a design background. It catches the attention of those who normally don’t pay attention to the buildings around them. I have a lot of friends and family members who are not in the architecture profession, and I often notice that design is often overlooked unless it’s absolutely terrible, or really fantastic. It’s those fantastic projects that can open peoples’ eyes to the built world around them. Good architecture helps people see their environment a different way, enhances how they experience a place and may even provide a better understanding of place through means as simple as filtering views and incorporating local materials and building techniques.