Todd Saunders


©Jan Lilleboe


(Canada – Norway)




Fogo Island, Newfoundland, Canada © Bent René Synnevaag




© Bent René Synnevaag







Fogo Island, Long Studio © Bent René Synnevaa







Aurland Lookout, Norway © Nils Vik




Todd Saunders (1969) is one of the most important young contemporary Canadian architects working internationally.  His architecture, simple yet powerful, incorporates elements of his country’s architectural identity – including the use of wood and carefully picked Modernist influences – bringing it at the same time into the 21st century with excellent execution, carefully chosen materials and a hands-on approach.  Saunders, who lives and works in Bergen, Norway, has successfully executed work in both Canada, Norway, and Finland, creating architecture with a strong sense of northern identity, an individual approach that is informed by the strongness of natural landscape.







Led by a strong contemporary design sensibility, the studio believes that architecture must play an important role in creating place, using form, materials and texture to help evoke and shape memory and human interaction.  The office operates within existing natural as well as manmade contexts, with examples ranging from an award-nominated dramatic viewpoint structure set amidst a rich protected landscape to several new-build houses within more traditional suburban settings.

Saunders Architecture was founded by Todd Saunders in 1998, and the studio now consists of people from all over the world.  Saunders has lived and worked in Bergen since 1996, following his studies at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax and McGill University in Montreal.  He continues to combine teaching with practice and has been a part-time teacher at the Bergen Architecture School since 2001.  Saunders has also lectured and taught at schools in Scandinavia, the UK and Canada and has been a visiting professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal.  He was also a visiting professor at Cornell University during the fall of 2013.

Saunders was ranked one of Norway’s 10 best architects by the magazine Bo Bedre in 2009, and was placed number 52 among the 100 best architects in the world by the German magazine BauNetz in 2012. Saunders was also ranked among the five top architects in the world under 50 by the Huffington Post in 2011.

In the fall of 2005 Saunders was a part of an exhibition entitled 20 under 40.  Young Norwegian Architecture hosted by the Norwegian Architecture Association. In October 2006, the Norwegian Association of Architects nominated the Aurland Lookout for the Mies van der Rohe Prize; The European Union prize for contemporary architecture.  In 2006, this project won the Norwegian Construction Prize, was given an honourable mention at the AR Awards for Emerging Architects in London, and was nominated for Wallpaper magazine’s ‘Best Public Project’ in 2007.  In 2011, the project Fogo Island Studios in Canada won the HISE Award for Sustainable Excellence as well as the AZ Award for Best Commercial Project, and the Solberg Tower and Park was awarded the Arnstein Arneberg Award for Outstanding Architecture.









In December 2012, the Swiss Publishing House Birkhäuser published a book on architecture of Todd Saunders, written by Jonathan Bell an Ellie Stathaki, the editors of Wallpaper Magazine in London.  The work of Saunders Architecture is widely publicized.  Projects have been presented in magazines and newspapers in over 40 countries, and are featured in over 100 books from 15 different countries.

Current projects include the completion of a 29- room inn on Fogo Island, Canada, a cultural centre in Labrador, Canada, a centre for UNICEF in Aurland, Norway, and a large scale residential project in Istanbul, Turkey.




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