In case you missed it—the deadline for our 2024 Western Living Designers of the Year awards was just extended to April 15, 2024 at 11:59 pm. That means it’s your last chance to put your work in front of our all-star judges. First up is our esteemed architecture panel—and a rare opportunity to have your work assessed by these world-renowned architects.

Enter now!

The 2024 WL Designers of the Year Architecture Judges

Kathy Hancox, AIA
Founding Principal, HK ASSOCIATES

Kathy Hancox is a Canadian-American architect and one half of the husband and wife team behind HK ASSOCIATES, an award-winning architecture firm based in Tucson, Arizona. With her partner Michael Kothke, Hancox has established a practice known for its holistic approach to architecture, interiors and landscapes.

The firm’s design ethos centers on the power of thoughtful design to enrich lives, viewing each project as an opportunity to engage with the environment and create meaningful and enduring spaces. HK Associates’ work is driven by simplicity and honesty, emphasizing client and site-specific solutions that are sustainable and timelessly relevant.

Hancox’s expertise is not only recognized in the architectural outcomes of her practice but also in her involvement with the wider architectural community and in her commitment to giving back in various capacities, including as the 2023-2025 AIA Arizona representative on the AIA Strategic Council, as well as on the AIA Public Awareness and Communication Committees, and as the 2022 AIA Arizona President.

Fran Silvestre
Principal, Fran Silvestre Arquitectos

Fran Silvestre is a Doctor of Architecture, graduated with honours from the UPV and received the same distinction in his urban planning degree from TU/e in the Netherlands. He holds a Magna Cum Laude doctorate in design from UPV. Currently, he is a professor in the Department of Projects at UPV and the European University, and leads the MArch Postgraduate School in Architecture and Design. In 2011, he was the vice-director of the Higher Technical School of Architecture of Valencia, and in 2018, he obtained the Victor L. Regnier Chair at KSU in the United States. Throughout his career, he trained with the Portuguese Pritzker Prize winner Álvaro Siza. He is the great-grandson of Valentín Silvestre Fombuena, who, according to the number of patents from the OEPM, was the most prolific inventor in the second half of the 19th century.

His studio, Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, was founded in 2005. Based in Valencia, it operates in the former workshop of sculptor Andreu Alfaro, a 7000 m2 space where a multidisciplinary team of over 50 professionals works on residential, cultural, corporate, and public projects worldwide.

Omar Gandhi
Principal, Omar Gandhi Architects

Omar Gandhi is a first generation Canadian, born in Toronto and raised in Brampton, Ontario. Gandhi’s maternal grandfather emigrated to Canada and settled in Montreal in the late 1950’s and his paternal grandfather to the UK just shortly after before moving to Canada and settling in Toronto.

Omar is the Principal of Omar Gandhi Architects, an architectural practice founded in 2010 with small teams in both Halifax and Toronto.

In its early years, the studio was awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Professional Prix de Rome, was included in Wallpaper* Magazine’s Architects Directory, and Omar himself was named as one of Monocle Magazine’s ‘Most Influential Canadians’. Omar was chosen as one of the Architectural League of New York’s ‘Emerging  Voices’ of 2016 and in 2018, was appointed the Louis I. Kahn visiting Assistant Professorship in Architectural Design at the Yale School of Architecture.

Most recently, Omar Gandhi Architect was the recipient of a 2018 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture for its work on Rabbit Snare Gorge and honoured as the only Canadian practice in Architectural Record Magazine’s 2018 Design Vanguard. In 2020, the studio was part of the team awarded the new Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and in 2021, completed the revitalization of one of Canada’s most Iconic landmarks, Peggy’s Cove. Omar was made a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Association of Canada in 2022.

Maurizio Meossi
Associate Director, Zaha Hadid Architects

Maurizio Meossi, architect, graduated from the University of Florence and continued his studies at the Architectural Association (London) where in 2002 he obtained a Master’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from the DRL (Design Research Lab).

At the core of his research lies a vision of architectural design as a field of experimentation for defining new relationships between humans, the natural and built environment.

Following his personal experience as co-founder of the research group SPIN+ (exhibiting at Venice Biennale, 2000, Archilab Orleans, 2002, Architectural Association, London, 2002 and 2008), he embarked on a long collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects from 2002 to 2004 as 3d designer, and then back in 2006 as Project Architect for the Citylife residential complex in Milan.

Associate Director at Zaha Hadid Architects since 2020, he has worked on some of ZHA’s largest Mixed use projects and Masterplans across the world, including Italy, Australia, Mexico, Turkey, Hungary. Among other projects, he is currently directing the Singapore New Science Centre (NSC) in Singapore (under construction) and the Zuglo-Varozkospont Masterplan in Budapest, Hungary.


James K.M. Cheng
Principal, James K.M. Cheng Architects Inc.

James K.M. Cheng is a Canadian architect recognized for his pioneering contributions to West Coast architecture and city building. Born in Hong Kong and educated in North America, Cheng’s approach represents a sensitive marriage of generous open environments with vibrant high-density living. He is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia, and a design critic and juror.

Cheng established James K.M. Cheng Architects Inc. in 1978 after winning a collaborative entry with Romses Kwan & Associates to build the Chinese Cultural Centre in Vancouver. Since its inception, the firm has been presciently focused on designing high-density urban environments around nuanced open spaces that foster social interchange. Cheng plays a leading role in the widely studied and emulated form of urban development known as Vancouverism. The firm continues to evolve concepts of livability and sustainability at various scales – most recently at the community planning level throughout the Greater Vancouver region, in China and in Hawaii.

Cheng has received over forty-five design awards, including Order of Canada, our country’s highest honour for lifetime achievement, from the Governor General Office of Canada, Canada’s Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. His work has been published and exhibited in Canada, the United States, London, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Get your 2024 WL Designers of the Year entry in now!