Our multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural team of professionals provides a fully integrated and comprehensive service for projects of all scales and various levels of complexity. Unlike many specialist design practices, we offer a unique, fresh and innovative approach to problem solving undertaken in a highly collaborative fashion with our clients and amongst ourselves. The cornerstone of our success has rested on our experienced staff’s ability to listen to, learn from, and create a customized working method within which creative design solutions are proposed, analyzed and implemented.
The team at ZAS is comprised of 100 professionals, including architects, planners, technologists, interior designers, and graphic designers. Led by the creative spirit of the firm’s Principals, and supported by a knowledgeable and reliable team of Associates, our team is committed to creative collaboration with our clients, balanced by a respect for budget and schedule. Their credentials span decades of experience involving projects for all sectors including urban design and master planning assignments as well as education, corporate, residential, recreation, cultural, and transportation projects.
Marek ZawadzkiSenior Principal
Marek Zawadzki has been practicing architecture since 1975 and during that period has managed many exceptional projects that have contributed to the growth and expertise of the firm. While he is an acknowledged expert in education and community/recreation centre design, Marek’s skills extend well beyond that specialization to include many of the firm’s office, commercial and residential projects. Under his experienced leadership and supervision, projects have consistently been delivered with a strong commitment to client input, design excellence and a commitment to meeting schedules and budget.
Marek has shaped much of the core philosophy of ZAS. With his unwavering commitment to quality and a unique dedication to collaborative client-driven design processes, he is especially adept at delivering master-planned and perceptive solutions for a diverse range of clients. His collaborative design talents are matched by strong organizational and management skills for multi-stakeholder and technically complex projects. Among the major clients that have sought out his services in consequence are Honda Canada and Staples Business Depot, both of which commissioned ZAS to design and manage the construction of their Canadian headquarter campuses.
His expertise in the design of corporate facilities and high-security projects is significant and vast, and includes regional operation/communication centres for major corporate clients such as Bank of Montréal, Citigroup North America, and HSBC. As a result, he has a well-developed sensitivity to the unique infrastructure requirements for technologically significant buildings. This expertise is also reflected in the host of successful bank branches, financial data processing centres, telecommunications control hubs, and justice facilities designed under Marek’s leadership. He has also recently led multi-disciplinary teams on notable complex projects including the $1.5B Dubai Promenade, the multiple phase development of the Hershey Centre Complex in Mississauga, and the Boutique Condominium residences in downtown Toronto.
Paul StevensSenior Principal
Paul Stevens is an innovative architect and design team leader who has directed many high-profile projects across Canada, Asia and the Middle East. He is known for working creatively with many forms and scales of architecture - from libraries and universities, to high-rise residential and airports.
Innovative projects include Digital Media Lab at the University of Waterloo, which features the largest digital screen in North America and Bill Crothers School for Athletics & Healthy Active Living – Canada’s first school to combine sports and academics. He has won over 20 industry and design awards for his efforts.
Paul is currently designing: The Lassonde School of Engineering at York University, Billy Bishop City Centre Airport Pedestrian Tunnel, Vaughan Central Resource Library, and the River City residential development in Toronto’s West Don Lands.
Paul is also a guest critic and lecturer at Harvard, Toronto, York and Ryerson Universities.
Peter brings over 15 years experience gained on projects as diverse as “off-grid” green homes to corporate campuses to master planning of entire urban precincts. Peter has successfully executed projects on three continents, a testament to his ability to coordinate projects of all scales and levels of complexity. He believes the ultimate success of a project starts with listening and understanding all of a client’s needs, including business planning, strategic vision, and local context.
As a specialist in sustainable design, Peter has worked on over 30 “green” building projects in Canada, the Middle East, Africa and China. Recent local sustainable projects include: the Bill Crothers Secondary School (LEED Silver), Honda Canada Campus (submitted as LEED Gold) and River City Condominiums (targeting LEED Gold). Most recently, Peter has turned his knowledge of sustainable design into a Green Schools Design Manual for the Ministry of Education and the Ontario Association of School Board Officials. In an attempt to “walk the talk” Peter is a four season bicycle commuter, and lives in the "green laneway home" he designed for his family.
He has also lectured and written widely on the subject of sustainable building and urban design. His projects have appeared in noted publication such as Canadian Architect and Treehuger.com.
Peter is a graduate of the University of Waterloo with degrees in Environmental Studies and Architecture.
Throughout his career Andrzej has provided design and management leadership on several multi-million dollar projects, both publicly and privately funded. Andrzej received his Masters of Architecture (with honours and distinctions) from the University of Lódz in Poland in 1986. After graduating, he practiced his craft at several design firms in Germany and Poland including Pietkiewicz Studio (Lódz, Poland), Holzbein Gebau Hagen (West Germany) and Hoff & Partner Architekturburo (Hagen, West Germany). He then immigrated to Canada in 1988 continuing to work in the profession as graduate architect/designer for firms including Kirshenblatt Korman Associates and Brown Beck & Ross Architects both located in Toronto. A natural designer with construction market smarts and a solid working knowledge of industry regulations, Andrzej offers the rare combination of a curious mind, a quick-sketching hand and the thoroughness required from a mature professional
A University of Toronto graduate from 1992, Susan’s passion and design expertise is deeply rooted in Community focused facilities. In 1997, after having worked exclusively on recreational buildings, she joined ZAS and brought to the firm this design, technical and management expertise. Her skills have contributed to the development of numerous educational, sports and entertainment, education, religion and healthcare projects. Among the list of projects are the award-winning Hershey Centre development in Mississauga for the past 13 years, the Tom Graham Twin Arena in Richmond Hill, the award-winning Wellesley Community Centre / Library / Childcare in Toronto, the Mapleview Community Centre in Barrie, Toronto Montessori High School in Richmond Hill and most recently, the Port Credit Memorial Arena redevelopment in Mississauga. As a Principal in the firm, her dedication to any project spans the entire duration from inception to warranty review.
Elizabeth MamichePrincipal, Interiors
Ella has focused her 28-year career on bringing together passion, people and process whether designing new office environments, transforming a warehouse into unique and functional government office space or refurbishing the interiors of a hotel. A longstanding member of the ZAS team, Ella first joined the firm back in 1983 where her key involvement has since helped establish the Interiors group as a leader in innovative and flexible design solutions by implementing a highly creative process balanced with a uniquely collaborative approach. As a Principal of ZAS Interiors she oversees initiatives related to design, client development and strategic growth. She focuses her creative insight into the design and planning process to ensure the production of classic, engaging and functional design for every client, site and most importantly every user who will benefit from the space. Ella has worked with a number of the firm's diverse clientele including corporate, educational, hotel/residential and government.
Deo has earned a reputation as a calm consensus builder. In the past 25 years he has worked on a wide variety of private and public sector projects and has successfully engaged a diverse group of stakeholders. His portfolio includes several complex projects like the Honda Canada Campus in Markham, Elgin West Community Centre and Aquatic Centre in Richmond Hill and the Lindsay Correctional Facility. As well, Deo has been the project architect and contract administrator for several notable shared-use projects including the award-winning Humberwood Centre in Etobicoke, Hershey Centre arenas in Mississauga and Father John Redmond Catholic Secondary School & Regional Arts Centre/Ken Cox Community Centre in Toronto. Deo graduated from the International Studies Program (with honours and distinctions) in Florence Italy. He subsequently received his Bachelor of Architecture (with honours and distinctions) from the University of Toronto in 1985. He joined ZAS as an architect in 1990 and became a Principal in 1998.
The recipient of an international fellowship and several awards for design and academic accomplishment during his tenure at the University of Waterloo, Costas joined the ZAS team in 1999. He has since managed the design efforts on numerous high-profile institutional and commercial / residential projects, including large-scale master plans and feasibility studies. Costas has represented ZAS at a senior level on international joint-ventures in China and Dubai, but also specializes in regional full-service design through contract administration for library, community centre, K-12 and post-secondary projects with sustainable design criteria. His most recent projects include Beaty and Painswick Branch Libraries, Superior Heights Collegiate and the new Digital Media Lab for the University of Waterloo at Stratford.
Del brings more than 24 years of project management and construction review experience to the ZAS Senior Management Team. Over that period he has worked on a diverse range of project types including private sector commercial, residential, institutional, and complex mixed-use developments. Prior to joining ZAS, Del managed the Elm Street Development - a 16-storey award winning mixed-use tower and the Newland Square (2-level retail and 12-storey residential) in Shanghai, China, among many other projects. Since joining ZAS in 2002, Del has taken on many of the firm’s commercial, institutional, office and multi-tenant interior fit-out assignments. With a excellent technical background in design detailing, Del also brings the experience of a general contractor and on-site Construction Manager to our firm having acted in that capacity for various ZAS clients in recent years, including adidas, Toronto Transit Commission, and the Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Jamaat. Most recently Del has been part of the project management team for the Jaffari Community Centre in Toronto and the new Head Office for adidas Canada.
A Senior Technologist with ZAS since 1997, Carmine has also acted as Job Captain and Project Manager for many of the firm’s warehousing and Municipal projects. His ability to produce accurate and complete documentation evolved through his 25+ years of experience and hands-on dedication to projects. Carmine has developed his managerial and technical skills through his years with ZAS and is an asset to the team. Carmine brings a wealth of experience garnered through his involvement with such projects as the New Facility Complex with Central Workshops, Warehousing, Emergency Services Centre and Canine Unit and the South-End Full Service Fire Hall for Toronto Pearson Airport, Honda Canada Campus in Markham, the New Aviation Campus at Canadore College in North Bay, and the Passenger Terminal Expansion for London International Airport.
Erin GrandmaisonAssociate, Interiors
An associate with ZAS, Erin has played an integral part in the planning, design and implementation of many wayfinding, signage and graphic projects worldwide. Her experience spans corporate, academic, civic, transportation, sports, and entertainment venues. This award-winning designer has a diploma in Graphic Design from the Sheridan School of Animation and Design and is currently a member of the Society for Environmental Graphic Design. She has created memorable works for major brands such as Adidas, Whirlpool, Hershey Sportszone, Kumon Learning, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and Citibank. She also has been instrumental in assisting organizations like the Toronto Public Library, Ryerson University, Toronto Montessori College and Ontario Reality Corporation develop and produce effective environmental graphics. As our in-house graphic designer, Erin has helped promote the firm’s capabilities in design and brand strategy by producing corporate literature, proposals, internal communications, presentations and marketing collateral.
Jeff TremblettAssociate, Interiors
Jeff has been a member of ZAS since 1992 with a background in Architectural/Information Technology and quickly took on the role of IT Manager. Jeff provides installation and applications for hardware and software maintenance, complex computer networks and information databases. He ensures maximum access and implementation of technology services, as well as recommendations about future planning and development of resources. Jeff has become an integral part of ZAS behind the scenes, overseeing the firm's extensive computer infrastructure around the world and maintaining a smooth and efficiently run company.
Nihan BasakAssociate, Interiors
Nihan joined ZAS in 2008 and quickly made herself a reliable team leader. With over 25 years comprehensive experience, Nihan brings a unique balance of versatility, innovation and commitment to every project undertaken while maintaining end-user functionality as a primary focus. She has practiced Architecture and Interior design with various firms in Toronto, Montreal, The Hague and Istanbul. Her projects include commercial and corporate offices, retail environments, schools, libraries, theatres and several airports.
Leigh CollyerAssociate, Interiors
As the recipient of the IIDA Scholarship, the NEWH Scholarship and a Bachelor of Arts specializing in Interior Design from the Interior Designer’s Institute in Newport Beach, California, Leigh brings a wealth of innovative interior design experience to the ZAS team. Since joining ZAS in 2004, she has worked on several of the firm’s high profile corporate projects for clients including HSBC, Citigroup North America, the Greater Ontario Airports Authority and the Ontario Realty Corporation, managing and designing a variety of projects across the country. A LEED AP and ZAS Associate, Leigh now heads the Vancouver Interiors division.
Matt HesseyArchitectural Director
Prior to joining ZAS in 2010, Matt worked on numerous First Nations cultural and educational institutions throughout British Columbia. His focus is on the creation of spaces that allow users to invest themselves individually, through careful configurations of space and materials. Matt also has operated his own consultancy, collaborating with architects and designers throughout Canada on the design and realization of community institutions. In addition to his professional work, Matt is a regular guest critic at UBC’s School of Architecture, a consistent member of UBC M.Arch thesis committees, and a volunteer for urban events held by non-profit agencies such as Urban Republic and the Public Dreams Society.
Nina AwatramaniAssociate, Interiors
Nina is a leader and career design professional with 16 years comprehensive experience. She joined ZAS in 2007 and has since made herself an indispensable part of our team. Assuming responsibility and challenges of meeting goals, budgets and deadlines is met with a creative attitude and approach to problem solving and networking. She is capable of achieving high objectives and handling client’s core strategies. Nina assumes a leadership role and mentors to intern design staff the abilities to succeed in an ever-changing profession. She brings to every project a unique and innovative approach combined with an excellent understanding of client needs that is of benefit to every project on which she works.
DJ ArminManaging Partner
The Managing Partner of ZAS International, DJ began practicing Architecture after obtaining a Doctorate in Architecture, a Master in Urban and Regional Planning obtained in Paris, France at Sorbonne University and a Master of Architecture from Tehran University. DJ has since contributed greatly to the growth of the firm and its project portfolio. DJ’s extensive design and management expertise of large scale & complex, mixed-use, high rise, and master planning projects has led to the successful completion of several infrastructure, cultural, corporate, institutional, residential, hospitality, passenger terminals, city centers, large neighborhoods and private / public sector projects. He has assumed the role of Project Development Advisor in a number of projects worldwide. He is also leading few PPP and BOT projects including financing and operation. His knowledge is broad and varied, and has contributed in expanding company’s operation in the Middle East as opening of ZAS International office in 2004 in Dubai and in 2008 in Abu Dhabi. Since then, he has been involved in managing & designing various projects in countries like Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Qatar, Oman, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco and Kuwait.
Preetam PanwarExecutive Director
An Executive Director at ZAS International, Preetam began practicing Architecture after obtaining his Bachelor of Architecture from Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, India. During his professional career, he developed interests in varied disciplines of the profession including Sustainability, Project Management and Real Estate Management. He acquired certifications of LEED AP (USGBC, USA), PMP (PMI, USA) and Real Estate Management (Harvard Business School, USA). Preetam joined ZAS in 2007 and has since contributed immensely in supporting growth of the firm, its design and management portfolio, its diversification into Sustainable designing and Project development and Project Development Advisory services. Preetam has brought his multi-disciplinary acumen to the best use in various projects across the firm’s dashboard. His diverse project portfolio ranges from residential, commercial, institutional, educational, hotels/resorts and urban development.
Martin BendaOffice Director
Martin joined ZAS Architects, Toronto, Canada in 2004, and became a core team member of ZAS International, Dubai, UAE in 2006. He holds a Master's of Architecture as well as a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo, Canada. Martins project portfolio reflects his international diverse design experience on various corporate, residential, sport, educational, healthcare, and master planning projects located throughout the UAE, Canada, Saudi Arabia, China, Spain, the Czech Republic and the UK. Martin’s versatility, leadership, and talent for project management have led to the success of several large-scale complex projects including The Collection in Dubai Festival City (Dubai), the Canadian High Commission Offices in Kuala Lumpur, the Staples Canada Headquarters in Toronto (Canada), Burjside Tower (Dubai), Medawi Hospital (Dubai) and the Aqua Dunya Theme Park (Dubai). In his capacity as Office Director, through his initiative, leadership and resourcefulness, he guides the day-to-day operations and administers the evolution and success of the firm.
Naeem SiddiquiDirector of Operations
Naeem brings with him a wealth of experience from Canada, USA and the Gulf Co-operation Countries as a member of senior management of Al Futtaim and Al Habtoor Groups. With in-depth experience in management, operations and international business development, he is adept at conceptualization of business ideas, formation of partnerships and international joint-ventures, negotiations including business planning, feasibility studies and marketing plans.
Naeem is an expert in geopolitical analysis, interpretation of economic data, market analysis and globalization initiatives including international trade policies and formalities, international banking, documentary credit, shipping, insurance as well as planning and implementation of total marketing systems and planned international market development. He is Quality Management Systems Lead Auditor from British Standards Institute (BSI Americas) and is certified by International register of Certified Auditors (IRCA). Naeem has taught at the Toronto School of Business and Institute of Plant Engineers. Naeem’s experience is a great asset to us and to the projects we work on.
Mohamed AtefBranch Manager
As Regional Projects Director of ZAS International for Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Mohamed began practicing architecture and project management after obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt. Mohamed joined ZAS International in 2006 to bring a wealth of experience in large-scale projects. He is very familiar with the Gulf area and North Africa from working on a broad range of projects located in various countries in the region such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Libya. Many of the projects on which he has worked incorporated master planning, commercial, residential, educational, community facilities, correctional facilities, health care facilities, hotels, office buildings and retails elements. Mohamed is an affiliated member of architectural and engineering societies in different countries in the region. He participated in various professional development programs and courses such as PMP, Quality Management, Contract Management, Planning, Negotiation and Communication. Mohamed is a dynamic individual whose excellent management, communication and problem solving skills are a great benefit to the team.