John Shnier and Martin Kohn started their practice together in 1990, and now work together with a new partner, Maggie Bennedsen. While the studio’s work ranges from commercial interiors to large schemes for civic centres, they’re also adept at turning out modest modern dwellings for space sensitive Torontonians.
The Laneway House in Toronto was originally designed for a family of four, with ground floor sleeping areas - including ultra-compact ’couchettes’ for the children - and a living space above. At 120 square metres, this is no sprawling McMansion.
’There are more families who are not opting to go the suburban route when they have children, and as a result are getting comfortable with the smaller places generally available, and affordable, in the city,’ says Martin Kohn.
At the other end of the scale is the Muskoka House in Ontario, a paean to the practicalities of prefabrication. Constructed from wooden modules, the house is raised up on columns and threads its way through a spectacular wooded site.