Architecture

Architecture

Graham Sherwin Studio is a collaboration between John Graham, architect and industrial designer, and Pam Sherwin, landscape designer, strategist and project manager.  Over two decades  the firm has developed a reputation for designing homes that are not just uniquely appropriate for their surroundings but also for their owners. As a result, very few clients have ever sold their houses. After many years they still seem to fit. We have designed heavy timber homes on isolated islands where waves batter logs up on the beach; ultramodern city homes for clients in the high-tech industry; precise shingle-style homes, major heritage restorations and rustic tile roofed cottages in ancient French vineyards, among many others.

Some clients have come back again and again to work with us. One family had us design a vineyard, a vacation house, a house for a son and renovations of two other houses. Another had us do a city house, then the interior of a yacht and the industrial design for a new hydrogen fuel cell company. And another had us design a summer house in Canada and a second house in France.

Our clients come back because they have confidence in what we deliver. And what we deliver is as good as we can possibly make it. We take responsibility. We work to budgets. We do complete documents. We help negotiate solid, fixed-price contracts with excellent builders. We inspect construction from beginning to end. We make sure the money is being well-spent and our clients are getting what they deserve.

We will only take on a job if we can do it this well. It doesn’t matter to us whether the budget is $100,000 or $10 million. We only do one quality of work because that is the only way to adequately control the process and end up with happy clients. Good controls help our clients avoid the problems they see in projects all around them.  We have also built for ourselves which has given us a very clear perspective of how our clients see our process;  we exercised the same discipline and attention to detail and had the same end result, coming in on time and on budget (you can see our house on this website;  it’s City House 3).

Innovation

Innovation

Our interest in high tech design and innovation began with John’s involvement at MIT in the development of new technologies such as large scale inkjet printing, energy efficient glass and instant photographic printing paper.  It continued years later when John was working on the design of Canada’s first carbon-neutral hotel with Arthur Erickson Architects and Pam was working on knowledge translation strategies with a number of corporate and public research groups.

After starting our own firm we branched out into a wider range of emerging technologies in an off-the-grid house on its own island and then the first geothermally heated house in the Whistler ski resort. Eventually this led to the architectural design of hydrogen fueling stations and the industrial design of fuel cell systems and fueling infrastructure, which led to 7 patents.

Over the last decade, we have worked with a number of companies to develop novel technologies, first in the hydrogen fuel cell industry, then in geothermal superconductors and most recently in internet software. We have a good track record: the first company was sold and became the world’s leader in its field; the second company successfully went public; the third has recently completed a major round of private funding; and the fourth was sold to Google.

We bring more than design to these projects. We help find investment capital, develop new concepts, write patent applications, develop business plans, and help get listings on public markets. But design is our central focus because when it is done well, it not only makes products better but it also makes them easier to understand to people who want to buy them, invest in them or take them to market.