“Every layer of architecture is simple and understandable, but when you put it all together it becomes a very complex matrix. It requires a lot of skill, experience, and focus to manage it all.”
Solares co-founder and principal Tom Knezic became fascinated by construction at age four when he watched his father renovate their basement. In the mid-1980s, when other kids his age were watching sit-coms and reading magazines about cars or sports, Tom was watching “This Old House” and reading Architectural Digest and Canadian Architect magazines from the local library.
Tom attended the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, where he learned from some of the world’s leading experts in building science; studied-abroad in Rome and Pescara, Italy; and had work experience semesters with firms in London and Rome. Through his early experience, he gravitated towards the construction document and detailing phase of design projects. “I was really interested in how to make things, and the more interest you show, the more work they give you, and the better you get,” he says. After completing his graduate degree, he was hired at KPMB Architects where he worked on the Canadian Museum of Nature, and the Gardiner Museum.
Tom and Christine founded Solares Architecture with the goal of helping like-minded clients create homes that minimize environmental impact through high energy efficiency and reduction of fossil fuel-reliance. “We’re really lucky that the people we work with already want these kinds of houses, they just don’t know how to get there,” he says. “We’re all going in the same direction.”
Tom is a Registered Licensed Architect with the Ontario Association of Architects, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a certified Passive House Designer.