With designs that crown elegance with excellence and buildings that merge comfort with warmth, DF Architecture is confidently claiming its space on the architectural landscape in BC.
Jessie Arora’s latest project Little India Plaza distinctly exemplifies this architect’s vision of expanding possibilities in contemporary designs. Featuring exciting colours, the urban infrastructure is a unique sight that breathes natural lighting and lavish spaces while giving a glimpse of the vibrant South Asian culture and heritage to British Columbians. “It’s a bold signature building,” says Jessie Arora, Principal Architect at DF Architecture and also one of the few architects of South Asian descent currently practicing in BC. This passionate architect was entrusted with the visionary project of Little India Plaza that underlines the essence and vibe of South Asians. “This was one of the guidelines that they (developers) had. They wanted to see some vibrant colours which will reflect our culture. So what came to my mind was a rangoli or Holi.”
Since its formation in 2010, DF Architecture has completed a great number of projects comprising town homes, multi-family units, residential, industrial and commercial buildings, all of which embody Jessie’s ethos towards design, form and function. Each project is a representation of Jessie’s design dialect delivering the space to its intended audience. Today DF Architecture has become a trusted name in the industry that has carved for itself a reputation of fineness and loyalty. But like other immigrants, Jessie had his share of challenges and struggles before he could get his license to practice in Canada.
After graduating from the reputed Chandigarh College of Architecture in 1988, Jessie started practising and built upon his experience by working with various individuals including BV Doshi, recipient of Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award in India. “I got a chance to work with him for six months. That was great exposure,” states Jessie while describing his journey as an architect. With two other friends as partners, Jessie opened his own firm in Chandigarh and New Delhi and worked on architectural projects until 2001 when he moved to Vancouver with his wife and two children.
The initial move was challenging in many ways. Jessie’s foreign credentials and tremendous experience in the industry was not valid in Canada; he had to start from scratch but that was no deterrent in keeping him aloof from his plans and dreams. “I was always ambitious and full of dreams.” This was what accentuated Jessie’s zeal to stick to his passion which was architecture, despite the challenges. He navigated his way constructively by starting off with building houses and shortly after, Jessie got his first break with Gerry Blonski Architect. He continued building houses simultaneously. “We built 12 town homes in Richmond and then we bought a property in Harrison Hot Spring and then we built 20 units there too as a developer.” In 2010, Jessie went a step further and acquired a registration licence to practice as an architect in Canada. This was the monumental curve in Jessie's career that got him where he stands today.
Since its inception, DF Architecture has conceived a variety of projects ranging from residential to commercial and industrial developments that graciously contribute towards the occupant’s physical and psychological well-being.
With a surge in technology and continuously evolving multi-faceted consumer experience, Jessie envisages to integrate user experience with the developer’s vision. By designing buildings that crown elegance with excellence and spaces that merge comfort with warmth and welcome, DF Architecture is confidently claiming its space on the architectural landscape that extends beyond BC. High rise projects in Nigeria is one example where Jessie is getting the opportunity to showcase his work to a diverse demographic and economy. Within North America, DF Architecture’s growth and expansion is following a remarkable trail. “I am planning to open a branch of my office in Calgary in 2017 summer. My future plan is to open an office in Saskatchewan and Toronto as well,” he says proudly.
His advice to others looking to follow in his footsteps, “It is a long process but sky is the limit. Live for your dreams.”
Jessie Arora, AIBC, SAA, AAA, MRAIC, RA