Dieter Janssen


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Currently teaching at the University of Toronto as well as practicing, Dieter Janssen has been directing his studio, DJA, since 1999. The architect works with a range of residential projects and keeps an open mind about inspiration, although he admits that photographers, such as Thomas Demand as well as travelling with his own camera have proved to be a valuable resource. 'My architectural ambition is that type of experiment: one in which the potential of establishing an exchange between people and spaces could lead to a novel form of intimacy,' says Janssen. Influenced by his teachers, he also finds the work of designers like Maarten van Severen, Karel Martens and Jorg Conzett an exciting knowledge pool.

Second Sky

Set on a breathtaking location at the edge of Lake Erie, Janssen’s country house proposal takes its cue from the area’s cloud formations. The name is inspired by the structure’s wavy roof, which works creatively with the horizon line, also prompting a light and shadow play inside. Working with nature in terms of materials as much as it does in terms of concept, the building uses a green roof water system and is made of a combination of reclaimed components sourced from condominium sales centres and recycled materials from a nearby quarry. The lightweight structure’s interior layout is as simple as it gets, with two partition walls, also doubling as storage space, defining the house’s main areas.

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