Some years ago, after hearing Brigitte Shim speak at a conference, I featured the Integral House in an article before construction finished in 2009. At the time of writing (2008), high quality photographs of the house were rare.
With little knowledge of Brigitte Shim’s work, apart from the early-1990s publication of a compact house on a tight site in The Architectural Review, it was with some interest that I waited for her to speak, hoping to gain a better understanding of her design process and seeing more of her portfolio. The design of that compact dwelling – the Laneway House as it is known – was very tidy in plan and section, and it was obvious that the architects had deeply considered the program, site and construction detailing.
Brigitte Shim, one half of the respected Canadian firm, Shim-Sutcliffe Architects hailing from Toronto, introduced her keynote by outlining the three organising themes; The Constructed Landscape, The Canadian Shield and The Toronto Ravine. She continued that all her projects are guided by the maxim “specific, particular and local” and that they establish a “dialogue with the context”.