Passion For Our Craft

The CR Way

You’ve envisioned it countless times. We’ve made it a reality countless times more. In some ways, space is all about confines. To us, it’s an opportunity to imagine what’s possible within those confines. Every project is a chance to give space life and personality and we’re hardwired to explore its full potential.

A PROCESS THAT PERFORMS

At CR, architecture is not just an art, but a discipline. Our work, our people and our processes revolve entirely around the way space and structure are realized.

DiscoveryConceptionCreationClient Relationships
Discovery

Before we act, we listen. Firmly believing that a space should seamlessly complement the people within and environment without, we begin by understanding our clients’ mission, values, challenges and vision for the project. This forms the foundation of our approach and serves as a baseline against which we measure our ultimate success. Whether recreating a brand image to provide hotel guests with a memorable escape or helping a school system become a leader in education through student-centered design, every project embarks with discovery.

Conception

Responsive design begins with a clear purpose. Once we’re able to paint a view of the big picture, we begin narrowing in on the details by integrating our team’s passion and technical expertise with close client engagement. Bypassing trends or pre-conceived solutions, we encourage a design that balances the imaginative with the practical. Through this iterative approach, we go back to the drawing board until a concept emerges that excites the client and inspires our team.

Creation

We craft dynamic market- and client-centric teams to encourage innovation across practices and weave design expertise and critical thinking into every project. This provides our clients with a dedicated team and a pool of engaged, available resources. Using an array of tools and technology – from hand sketches to full-scale virtual models – we work together to refine all aspects of the design, creating a space where architecture, interior design and engineering come together in a sustainable, cohesive way.

Client Relationships

Great design is just the beginning. Making it work in the real world is the true challenge. We are keenly attuned to the people, spaces and needs we design for. Carefully considering the function and placement of every detail, we finesse our work to ensure it solves a problem or anticipates a need. This awareness guides our process and fuels the strong relationships we build with our clients. Motivated by discovery and a vision for the future, we’re constantly working to uncover holistic solutions tailored to each of our valued clients.

How We Work

We solve complex problems, design intuitive spaces and engineer innovative solutions. From space planning to project delivery services, architecture to project branding and engineering to conceptual design, we provide a vast suite of capabilities. By integrating the experience of our team and involving experts at every level, we bring clients’ visions to life.

CR didn’t just come into this project and submit blueprints. They immersed themselves into our school and our community to meet our needs.

Princeton City Schools, Director of Secondary Schools

Leading with Conviction

Our leaders bring more than passion and conviction to the table. They lead by example, deeply instilling their vision into our teams, culture and practices. They make sure our plans and strategies make it to the most crucial step: execution.

David Arends, AIA, OAA

Chairman + CEO

Larry Cotner, AIA

Director

Doug Hawker, PE

Director

Jeff Evans

Director, Clients

David Arends, AIA, OAA

Chairman + CEO

Leading CR as Chairman and CEO, David sets the highest standard of client service and satisfaction – one that he considers a personal responsibility to uphold. Equally dedicated to our mission and team culture, he meets with each candidate before inviting them to join the CR team. That level of commitment takes a deep-rooted love for what you do. A life-long entrepreneur, he’s built a reputation for openness and honesty, and for expecting the same in return. “When you make a mistake, which everyone does, come up with a solution. Never an excuse.” But even the most driven leaders need a break every now and then. Epitomizing the “work hard, play hard” motto, David embraces life outside the office with equal fervor, whether on the open water or on the golf course. Describing his personal leadership style as “10,000 feet and 100 MPH,” it’s clear he’s never let up on his vision for CR.

Larry Cotner, AIA

Director

As Director, Larry leads a close-knit team that serves some of CR’s largest hospitality clients. Living every day according to his personal motto to “embody integrity and lead by example,” he considers the success of those on his team to be a personal achievement and confirmation that he’s doing his job right. Having built a career on a childhood passion, Larry’s found success doing what he loves. “I was always drawing as far back as I can remember. Developing ideas, fixing problems, building models. Bringing ideas to reality was always my goal.” Ask him to describe his work style and you’ll get a simple answer: “methodical and persistent.” It’s that approach and the pride he takes in personally ensuring his clients’ satisfaction that’s made him CR’s longest standing Director. If he wasn’t building spaces to stand the test of time, he’d be devoting himself to an altogether different type of project: building hot rods.

Doug Hawker, PE

Director

Jeff Evans

Director, Clients

Coming home each night with stories from the office, Jeff was inspired early on by his father’s work ethic and influenced by his goals to solve the tough problems others faced. As the Director of Client Marketing, that commitment is visible in his client-advocate approach. Describing his work style as “investigative,” Jeff learns “everything through a thorough research process to evaluate the right fit for both CR and the client.” Known in the office for his competitive streak, we can’t say we were surprised to learn of his place in the Toronto Hockey Hall of Fame. On Saturday mornings, you’ll find him volunteering as a youth hockey and lacrosse coach. “Today more than ever, I see the importance of providing a mentor outside the family structure.”