ABOUT D+H ARCHITECTS INC.
Architecture Studio in Orangeville, Ontario
D+H Architects Inc. became an incorporated partnership in May of 1994 combining the skills of Ivan Dickinson and Mark Hicks whose experience totals more than 75 years (previous practice was Ivan G Dickinson Architect 1981-1994) on over 1,500 total projects including over 500 churches. In 2008, Wesley Gowing joined the partnership bringing his strong work ethic and keen understanding of technology to influence operations of the company.
We are a diverse practice having gained experience on many types of projects and with various client organizations. The firm’s focus on institutional projects and assembly occupancies has led to a variety of developments around the province of Ontario and other regions of Canada. The firm has also established a strong presence in the commercial and multi-unit housing sectors. The office is in Orangeville which is centrally located north of the GTA allowing for easy access to most projects throughout Ontario.
The vision of D+H Architects Inc. is to inspire human experience through architectural excellence.
The mission of D+H Architects Inc. is to equip building owners with effective tools for ministry, living and learning
by providing creative and practical building design.
Our Core Values
Our values serve as our office cornerstones. They are a set of key components that guide our conduct, shape our culture, and ultimately define the unique character of our firm. They provide daily direction and help to diminish the gap between what we are saying and what we are doing.
One Team, Many RolesDoing things collaboratively We recognize that most work produced by our firm is accomplished by the efforts of more than one individual. We also acknowledge that a strong team is comprised of several people with varying gifts. We cannot do it alone. We seek to grow our company utilizing people with differences, unified by common goals, while celebrating individuality. We also strive to maintain a collaborative mindset valuing the skills and input of the client, consultants, and authorities to produce creative design solutions.
Healthy LivingDoing things to benefit our mind, body and soul. We believe a healthy family is conducive to effective staff and work environment. We strive to establish and maintain a balanced work/family lifestyle. We also believe a life lived with daily intent to exercise, eat healthy and maintain a strong emotional and spiritual condition results in a highly effective individual.
ExcellenceDoing things well Our aim sets our direction which influences our actions. We therefore commit ourselves to working to the best of our ability on every project, irrespective of scale or complexity, and to aim for the ideal in the process. Pursuing the ideal sets our focus on high quality work and helps us to see where we are falling short. It is not meant to discourage but to imbue in us the desire for better while maintaining the satisfaction of doing our best.
IntegrityDoing things honestly and with high moral standards This is the foundational starting point for all our relationships. It helps us to manage expectations with our clients, contractors, authorities, and each other. It is the common ground from which we can effectively grow without misconception or misrepresentation. Furthermore, it helps us to know our limitations and direct others to those who know better, ultimately serving our relationships in the most appropriate manner possible.
Culture of Continual DevelopmentImproving how we do things We strive to improve, out-perform, and set the bar higher with each new learning we encounter. We aim to avoid becoming complacent in our development. The intent is to make things easier, smoother, simpler, more effective, more efficient, and more enjoyable. This best occurs at the point of implementation by being willing to learn more despite our experience, by acknowledging that most things change over time, and by adapting our abilities to suit current conditions. Always improving. Always investing. Always making better.
What do we mean?
First, the term “Inspired Architecture” is an honest recognition and admission that many things have influence over us. These external factors play a vital role in the development of our designs. They include the types of people we are, the experiences we have enjoyed, as well as the faith that underpins the foundation of our company. These contribute value to the services we provide, and ultimately the success of each project.
Secondly, we have identified that Inspiration begins much sooner than the moment we are hired. Clients engage us because they already have a vision and appreciate our desire to support them in their pursuit of fulfilling it. They bring needs, ideas and concepts that must be developed through our interactive design process. In a sense, we carry the torch of inspiration that has been passed to us. We take on that responsibility with passion and enthusiasm.
We believe that although buildings are made of brick and mortar, the substance behind the façade which makes its spaces breathe harmoniously and function effortlessly, finds its origins in inspired design
Who We Are
Mark Hicks | Architect (PARTNER) M.Arch, OAA
Mark obtained his license to practice architecture from the Ontario Association of Architects in 1992. His undergraduate work was completed in 1983 at Ryerson Polytechnic University (now Toronto Metropolitan University) in Toronto and he earned a Master of Architecture at the University of Texas. Immediately following graduation Mark spent his next years abroad as he was hired as an assistant Professor of Architecture at University of Texas Arlington. He then moved to Malaysia to help establish an architecture program for the Institute Technology Mara in Shah Alam. Upon his return to Canada he worked for WZMH Architects in Toronto for a brief time before joining Ivan Dickinson Architect in the fall of 1988 which later became Dickinson + Hicks Architects an incorporated partnership in 1994.
Mark is involved in all aspects of the practice; however his favourite part of the process is guiding clients through the design phases, and team interaction working alongside clients and consultants from the start of a project to its successful completion. For many years it has been a great pleasure for Mark to join Engineering Ministries International teams to various countries in Africa and assist with the design of projects, such as the new Fistula Surgical Centre in Danja, Niger which will serve to improve the quality of life in rural communities. Mark looks forward to more similar opportunities in the future.
Wesley Gowing | Architect (PARTNER) M.Arch, OAA
Wesley obtained his undergraduate training at Ryerson Polytechnic University (now Toronto Metropolitan University) in Toronto in 1998. He subsequently acquired a Bachelor of Environmental Design and Master of Architecture at Dalhousie University in Halifax between 2001 - 2003. He remained in Halifax with his family for several years following, working for the federal government in the architecture department of Public Works and Government Services Canada as well as Architecture 49 (formerly WHW Architects) before returning to join D+H Architects. Wesley obtained his license to practise architecture in Ontario in 2007 from the Ontario Association of Architects. He officially joined D+H Architects Inc. as a partner in 2008.
Although his role involves retaining and managing projects, Wesley's focus within the firm includes quality control, office management, drawing production, and process development. He also has a passion for design, regardless of the building type, and continually strives for architectural excellence in all that he does. Wesley finds the most fulfillment in a project where client, architect, engineer, and builder work selflessly together towards the success of a building design.
Nolan Bentley | Architect (PARTNER) M.Arch, OAA
Nolan pursued his undergraduate degree from Ryerson Polytechnic University (now Toronto Metropolitan University) and then his masters degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax graduating in 2002. Nolan worked internationally in multiple countries before returning to Toronto to work for several design firms including Stantec Architecture, Kearns Mancini Architects, Natale and Scott Architects, CS&P Architects, and Wallman Architects. He is familiar with small town nuances being raised in Barrie, Ontario. Nolan became a licensed architect in 2009, joined D+H Architects in 2018, and became a partner in 2022.
Nolan is passionate about the process of design and construction. He is constantly seeking ways to innovate and improve projects while delivering quality architectural services and solutions. Collaboration with clients, consultants, and coworkers is important to him. He believes the best projects are like symphonies that come together beautifully when everyone plays their part well. Nolan has been actively leading D+H’s Instagram account, sustainability initiatives and is committed to staff development.
Interior Designer & Technologist
Kelly is an ARIDO registered interior designer. She has completed both an HBA in Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Interior Design. She has experience in a variety of design fields including institutional, education, corporate, healthcare, residential and hospitality. Kelly has assisted with the design on a home renovation television show (and has no interest in doing so again). While always eager to learn and grow, her favourite tasks are space planning, and creating interior design concepts that pull together function and exciting aesthetics. Her favourite building material is wood because of its versatility, sustainability, and wonderful aroma.
Tanya has been organizing and coordinating office activities since 2011. She has enjoyed expanding her understanding of Microsoft 365 in addition to her expertise in preparation of specifications and tender packages. Her administration skills include filing system maintenance (paper and digital), proposals, and assistance with project management through the various phases. She has increased her knowledge base to include preparation of site plan and permit applications and is very active in the construction administration process. She appreciates the team atmosphere of the office, as well as the variety of clients and projects. Tanya values being part of church development as well as seeing them, and other organizations, expand their ministry tools to better serve their communities.
Administration & Accounting
Colleen has worn several hats over her career. After working as a registered nurse, she decided to be a stay-at-home mother. As business grew at Dickinson + Hicks, a position as an office administrator became available which Colleen has now held for over 20 years. Since then, she has added payroll and accounting activities to complete her resume. Family is number one for Colleen. She finds much joy in spending time with her husband Mark, children, and grandsons.
Jason is an Architect registered with the OAA. He completed his M.Arch at Carleton University and his Undergraduate Degree at Dalhousie University. Jason has been involved in a variety of different project types including Airports, Hospitals, Multi-use High Rise, Luxury Residential and Hospitality. He also has experience working internationally, but most of his recent work has been focused in British Columbia and Ontario. Jason enjoys taking projects from the feasibility stage through construction and has recently developed an interest in exploring the potentials with architecture and virtual reality. When not in the office, his hobbies include anything related to food, cooking and/or coffee.
Chris is a licensed architect in Ontario, and a member of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP). Chris’ portfolio includes primary and secondary school additions and renovations, daycares, senior’s residences and multi-unit residential buildings. His specialty is consulting within heritage conservation: he has overseen several large-scale conservation projects including Toronto Union Station, St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica, and the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (Queens Park). As required of these projects, Chris authored various Heritage Impact Assessment Statements, Building Condition Assessments, and Historic Structures Reports.
Architectural Technologist (Co-op)
Jess is in her third year at Conestoga College taking Bachelor of Applied Technology – Architecture, Project and Facility Management. She has worked for 3 years in residential kitchen renovations and developed many hands-on skills and helped in the design selection process. Her love for architecture led her to Conestoga where she is now in her second co-op at D+H Architects. Jess enjoys the variety of projects she has worked on including various churches, a group home as well as a vehicle dealership. Experiencing the whole process, from conceptual design to construction documents, and seeing the vision become reality is the passion that led her to this career.
Brenna has completed her Bachelor of Architectural Studies with a minor in History at Laurentian University and will be starting her Master of Architecture there in fall 2023. She has completed co-op placements focusing on residential and commercial additions and renovations that have helped her to develop the necessary skills for the design industry. Brenna enjoys working on a variety of projects however with her passion for both history and architecture, she has a special interest in heritage restoration and architecture conservation. To Brenna, the idea of learning from the past for designing the future is an important notion within architecture and the design process.
Ivan Dickinson | B.E.S., M.Arch, O.A.A.Retired
Ivan started his career journey with a three year diploma in Theology from Central Pentecostal College (now Horizon College & Seminary). He proceeded from there to the University of Manitoba to pursue a Master of Architecture Degree.
With a passion to be involved in Church design, Ivan moved to Simcoe, Ontario to be part of the D. McIntyre, Church Growth International Team. Five years later he moved to Orangeville to be part of Cathedral Developments (Chapelstone Developments) and, finally to set up his own practice.
Ivan enjoyed a 39-year career fueled by a deep desire to support churches and their unique design needs. Ivan's role focused on client interactions, technical refinement and drawing coordination. He has been enjoying retirement since 2016.
"lt was our experience that D+H Architects Inc. were practical and cost sensitive in their approach to problem solving, working closely with the Construction Managers during design and construction phases to provide an attractive and functionalbuilding within the client's budget. Contract administration was done in a prompt and professional manner. They made themselves available to answer questions arising during the course of the construction and provided the requested information in a timely manner. Job site meetings were attended regularly and as needed to keep the projects moving forward without delays and to revÍew the progress of work. Based on their overall performance on these projects, we are pleased to recommend D+H Architects lnc. as prime consultant / architect for your project."
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