Articles + Awards ─── October 11, 2023
Celebrating 25 Years of Passion, Vision, and Collaboration: Berry Architecture + Associates Turns 25
Full-service architecture firm, Berry Architecture + Associates, celebrates 25 years of passion for sustainable architecture, design, and collaboration.
It’s been an incredible 25 years. What started in Red Deer, Alberta, with just George Berry and one architectural technologist in 1998 has grown to a network of three studios, a team of more than 20 experts, and hundreds of projects completed encompassing all architectural typologies and construction methods from our full-service architectural firm.
Throughout this growth, Berry Architecture + Associates has managed to not only remain true to its goals of being more respectful and responsive to environmental issues and sustainability, but also to achieve that while fostering strong interpersonal relationships and emphasizing collaboration.
Let’s have a look at how we got here:
A Timeline of Architectural Success
A firm is born
On August 17, 1998, Berry Architecture + Associates is born. George Berry is CEO and sole proprietor architect of the new firm, with one architectural technologist. The firm is incorporated as an architectural firm in Alberta with one small office in Red Deer.
The team grows
Now a partner, LEED-accredited Susanne Widdecke joins the team in 1999. Susanne brings over 30 years of architectural experience to Berry Architecture + Associates.
First seniors’ living design project
Berry Architecture begins work on its first seniors’ housing project—a master plan for the Rimoka Foundation. This leads to the firm’s first large-scale seniors’ project, Legacy Place, an aging-in-place facility addition in Ponoka, AB, in 2000.
Red Deer studio expansion
Berry Architecture moves into a large two-storey studio space in the Red Deer Brew Plaza.
Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School
In 2000, with two partner firms, Berry lands its first large-scale educational project, the Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School modernization. This $26 million major renovation and addition started in 2003 and was completed in 2006.
Recognized for innovation in affordable housing
Berry Architecture wins an award from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation for “Innovation in Affordable Housing” for an affordable housing apartment building in Red Deer.
A new partner
Susanne Widdecke becomes a full partner in the architectural firm.
Growing by design
By 2007, Berry is at an all-time high of 24 team members. The studio expands the Brew Plaza office into an additional office on the ground floor, and opens its first interior design services department.
A new journey in collaboration with First Nations
Berry begins its first project with First Nations—a health centre renovation in Maskwacis, AB. This is the beginning of a long-term endeavour for the firm, which has since worked with many First Nations in Alberta and BC on a wide variety of projects
An innovative dementia care centre near Calgary—dedicated exclusively to memory care—is an early state-of-the-art design for this type of care facility.
From lanes to LEED
Berry Architecture purchases the Red Deer Bowladrome and begins work on a major LEED Gold-targeted renovation.
Moving into sustainable building design
Berry Architecture moves into its new office in the former Bowladrome in Red Deer, AB, bringing the firm’s vision of a sustainable workspace to life.
In the spring of 2012, a green roof made up of 95% local plants is planted on top of the office building. The green roof controls heat island effects and captures rainwater for the grey water system.
An affordable housing milestone
As of 2012, Berry had completed over 300 units of affordable housing in Red Deer alone. This specialization began in 1999 and continues to this day, with several large-scale affordable housing projects currently underway.
A new addition to the architectural firm
In January 2015, Carlos Gamez Ruiz joins the team, later becoming a Registered Architect in Canada in 2019.
First privately owned LEED Gold building in Alberta
Berry Architecture’s office in Red Deer, Alberta receives LEED Gold Certification, making it the first 100% privately owned LEED Gold building in Alberta.
International Green Roof Award
In 2015, Berry receives an International Green Roof Award of Excellence from “Cities Alive” and travels to New York City to receive the award.
A new partner
Registered architect Isaac Martinez joins the team in 2018, later becoming a full partner in the firm.
Most Outstanding Seniors’ Housing Architect
In 2019, Berry receives an International Award for “Most Outstanding Seniors’ Housing Architect of 2018” travelling to London, UK, to receive the award in June 2019.
Moving to the mountains
The architectural firm expands to British Columbia with a new location in Cranbrook. Isaac Martinez, George Berry, Carlos Gamez Ruiz, and Cody Lyzenga were the key team members for the new location.
LEED Gold learning
Westpark Middle School in Red Deer, AB, opens in September 2019, subsequently receiving a LEED Gold Certification. The building was designed with student input and involvement and highlights Berry’s sustainable design services through its environmentally-friendly construction.
Our architects in Kelowna
Berry Architecture expands to the Okanagan with a new location in Kelowna. Carlos Gamez Ruiz is the architect in charge of the office and becomes an associate partner.
In the continued pursuit of sustainable architecture
George Berry begins a Master’s degree program in Sustainable Architecture at the University of Cambridge, UK.
Say hello to Sunnybrook South Plaza
The firm’s largest commercial multi-building development, Sunnybrook South Commercial Plaza, is completed in 2023.
25 years of achievements
Over the past 25 years, Berry Architecture has worked with a wide variety of project typologies:
- Commercial—office and retail
- Residential—seniors, multi-family, and single-family
- Educational—primary, secondary, and post-secondary education
- Correctional services—prisons and remand centres
- Industrial buildings and manufacturing
- Healthcare centres and hospital renovations
- Hospitality industry—restaurants and hotels
- Community and municipal buildings
- Recreational centres
- Plus a full range of reviews, studies, and reports.
Building this portfolio of work is the result of time, dedication, and most importantly living into Berry’s values. Working collaboratively, the firm is committed to realising your vision with quality and care grounded in value, sustainability, responsiveness, and connection.
Here’s to another 25 years!
Don’t just work together—build a relationship. Berry Architecture is a full-service architectural firm backed by 25 years of experience to bring your vision to life. Contact ustoday to get started.
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To celebrate our newest location, you’re invited to our open house and meet and greet. Come meet our architects in Kelowna, learn more about our services, and have the chance to win!
Where: Innovation Centre Atrium, 460 Doyle Ave, Kelowna, BC
When: Oct. 18, 2023, 5 - 7 pm
What: Drinks, appetizers, and a raffle to win an arena suite for 21 guests at the Nov. 4th Kelowna Rockets game. Admission is free, register today!