Anya Moryoussef Architect, Canada: Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2023

The Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2023’s newest entry is Anya Moryoussef, joining our annual round-up of exciting emerging architecture studios and representing Canada

Anya Moryoussef's Craven Road Cottage hero exterior
(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

Toronto-based Anya Moryoussef joins the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2023, our annual list of exciting emerging practices from across the globe. Her practice may be young, founded in 2016, but Moryoussef is an award-winning architect with over 15 years of experience. Here, we spotlight the studio's Craven Road Cottage, a residential extension in Toronto.

Anya Moryoussef's Craven Road Cottage hero exterior of entrance volume at dusk

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

Who: Anya Moryoussef Architect

'Reinvention, specifically of typologies and the ideas they embody', make Anya Moryoussef's work stand out from the crowd, motivating her practice, she says. 'We grow so used to our homes, where we spend so much time, that we easily overlook the effect they have on us. We look to design spaces that feel alive by activating their latent potential, changing moods, atmospheres, and thereby the lives of the people inside them. The spaces we generate have a strong and immediate – I’d even say emotional – impact on the people who enter them, and this is the first step to reconsidering, rethinking, reimagining the way we live.'

Anya Moryoussef's Craven Road Cottage hero exterior at dusk

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

The dynamic emerging architect has been leading her independent studio since 2016, prioritising 'the importance of emotional wellbeing, daily inspiration, intellectual provocation, and delight'. On top of her wealth of built work, despite her firm's young age, Moryoussef has already also scooped two Royal Architectural Institute of Canada medals, including the prestigious Emerging Architect Award for 2021. She draws inspiration from the practitioners around her, influenced by 'the women architects for whom I’ve worked and who I mentor. They led and continue to lead me to question what is given or assumed in the design field – creatively, pedagogically, professionally. Also, my mother, who taught me how to see beauty in the most unexpected places. The emotional minimalism of Eva Hesse’s work.'

Anya Moryoussef's craven road cottage entrance at night

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

What: Craven Road Cottage

Anya Moryoussef's case study shines a light on an often neglected typology – the humble worker's cottage. Set on Craven Road, Toronto, this project involved the complete reconstruction of an existing single-storey structure, 'originally built to house the working poor’. Through her design, the architect brings her own contemporary interpretation of the genre, opening up the space and introducing spatial generosity and visual connections throughout. Structural elements from the original build were retained, both to honour sustainable architecture principles and to reduce overall costs for the client. 

Anya Moryoussef's Craven Road Cottage white interior with skylight

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

The result is a home filled with light, calm and comfort. '[Our client] wanted a space where she would feel safe, at peace, and inspired,' Moryoussef writes. At Craven Road Cottage, minimalist architecture meets historic sensitivity and a sharp, 21st century acumen. 

Anya Moryoussef's Craven Road Cottage white interior

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

Why: Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory 2023

Conceived in 2000 as an international index of emerging architectural talent, the Wallpaper* Architects’ Directory is our annual listing of promising practices from across the globe. While always championing the best and most promising young studios, over the years, the project has showcased inspiring work with an emphasis on the residential realm. Now including more than 500 alumni, the Architects’ Directory is back for its 23rd edition. Join us as we launch this year’s survey – 20 young studios from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Congo, Ecuador, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mozambique, Pakistan, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UAE, the UK, the USA and Vietnam, with plenty of promise, ideas and exciting architecture. 

Anya Moryoussef's Craven Road Cottage minimalist interior

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography)

Anya Moryoussef's Craven Road Cottage kitchen

(Image credit: Doublespace Photography) 

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).