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Office Ou is an architecture and landscape design office centered around the values of collaboration, social impact and environmental sustainability. With backgrounds in both architecture and landscape design, we see buildings as emerging out of their natural and cultural context. We believe that sustainability is a question of living at ease within one’s environment, and that a good design must inherently be a sustainable design.
Nicolas Koff, OAA
With a background in architecture, landscape architecture, and regional planning, Nico is always looking at our environments in a holistic way to create sustainable and socially impactful projects. Nico was designer and project manager for K-House, which gained acclaim as the first electricity net zero straw bale house in Hamilton, Canada.
Prior to co-founding Office Ou, Nico worked in some of the world's most innovative design firms, including MAD in Beijing, Ateliers Jean Nouvel in Paris, Zeidler in Toronto, and Field Operations in New York on the winning entry for the Qianhai Water City competition. Nico is a lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, and is currently working on a book studying new typologies of productive urban landscapes and their cultural roots. Nico was previously research associate at the University of Pennsylvania working on the creation of a cross-disciplinary course on environmental sustainability.
Nico is also co-founder of Projexity, a tech company that creates online engagement tools for social impact companies; current clients include the David Suzuki Foundation, Evergreen, United Way and the City of Toronto.
Dual M.Arch + MLA, University of Pennsylvania (2010)
Hon. BA Architectural Studies + East Asian Studies, University of Toronto (2006)
Uros is an accomplished designer and researcher with experience on projects ranging from large urban-scale master plans to small residential renovations. He is particularly interested in studying the relationship between architectural practice and ideology, with a research focus on aesthetic implications within the philosophy of Slavoj Žižek.
Prior to co-founding Office Ou, Uros has worked for several sustainability-focused design firms. These include A00 Architecture in Shanghai, a practice pioneering the use contemporary rammed earth construction, Kiss + Cathcart in New York, where he worked on the first LEED certified subsidized housing project in New York City. Most notably, while with D.A. Dizajnarhitektura in Belgrade, Uros was the lead designer for a new Faculty of Biology building at University of Belgrade. He has also worked at RMJM in Edinburgh, as well as Wallman Architects, Zeidler Partnership Architects, and Kohn Partnership Architects in Toronto.
Together with Nicolas, Uros is working on an upcoming book on Productive Urban Landscapes to be published by Routledge. In addition to his work in design fields, Uros has co-authored scholarly articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals in the field of global public health.
M. Arch, University of Waterloo (2013)
Hon. B.A.S. University of Waterloo (2008)
Sebastian Bartnicki, OAA
Sebastian brings a highly detailed, rigorous approach to project design and delivery, with a particular aptitude for pragmatic yet elegant detailing. Through a strong understanding of all stages of project development, he ensures that a project’s vision is faithfully carried through to completion. He is particularly skilled in architectural visualization and building information modeling, helping clients and builders to fully understand and participate in the design process.
Prior to co-founding Office Ou, Sebastian carried out several educational, justice, and office fit-out projects at NGA Architects in Toronto. Most recently, he led the project teams for St. Catharines Provincial Offences Courthouse, and Welland Provincial Offences Courthouse (both LEED silver projects), gaining considerable experience in programming buildings with complex functional and security requirements. Sebastian also worked at KPMB Architects between his undergraduate and masters degrees, where he was involved in an executive office fit-out for a high-profile financial investment company in New York City, as well as construction administration for the Mike and Ophilia Lazeridis Quantum-Nano Centre at the University of Waterloo, a cutting-edge research laboratory. In addition, Sebastian has several years of international internship experience at offices in London and New York City.
M. Arch, McGill University (2010)
Hon. B.A.S. University of Waterloo (2008)
Sophia is a dedicated designer with a wide range of experience in all stages of the design process. Her interests lie in the pleasure of architecture, the threshold between public and private, and she is always seeking new methods for narrative and experiential based visual representation. Her passion for furniture design and building detailing give rise to thoughtful and refined designs at all scales of a project.
Prior to joining the team at Office Ou, Sophia gained extensive experience in fabrication and shop drawings working for MCM - a millworks and custom manufacturing shop based in Toronto. She also had the opportunity to work on the renovation of a mid century Donald Wexler house in Palm Springs. At Gould Evans Baum Thornley in San Francisco she worked on an office renovation for Yahoo!’s A2 Design Studio, a winery, and a multi-storey residential building. Other past experience includes being project manager for a camp master plan at CGL Architects in Toronto, and internships at MGA Architecture and Shore Tilbe Perkins and Will.
During her time at Cornell University Sophia taught an intensive summer studio of 10 prospective architecture students, and was a teaching assistant for an architectural representation course. A series of her drawings were selected and published in the 10th issue of the Cornell Journal of Architecture and she graduated with the highest honours.
Sophia is an avid dog lover and can often be spotted outside the office petting Bear, the neighbourhood puppy.
M. Arch, Cornell University (2015)
Hon. B.A.S. University of Waterloo (2012)
Marisa has over ten years of city-building, community engagement and urban design experience, values from which she applies to every project she is involved in. She believes that engaging communities and stakeholders from project inception and throughout the design process is crucial to creating work that is contextual, tactile and inspiring.
Prior to joining Office Ou, Marisa co-founded and was lead project manager at a civic tech company called Projexity, which created digital tools to help communities to become better engaged in the urban improvement process. Marisa not only managed relationships with clients such as the City of Toronto, David Suzuki Foundation, Evergreen and Park People, she was also keen on finding new ways to involve the public in her work.
Marisa’s urban design experience was cultivated over several years working in the private sector for design firms in Toronto, Vancouver and New York. She has worked on projects across all scales - from residential gardens to streetscapes to public parks - and helped to lead numerous public consultations. She has also contributed her landscape design skills and plant communities knowledge to Sejong Museum Gardens, K-House and Choroni Riverfront Park projects.
Marisa's Instagram feed is mostly cats, although she is an equal opportunist when it comes to her side hustle of drawing pet portraits.
MLA, University of Pennsylvania (2010)
Hon. BFA Fine Arts, concentration in printmaking, University of Delaware (2003)