Jessica Marcellus



Jessica earned her first degree in Finance at Western University and worked at Blackberry during their golden years in 2007-2008 before deciding to pursue a profession in Architecture. She went on to complete both her Bachelor and Master degrees in Architecture at Dalhousie University, where her final thesis drew upon both her finance and architecture education—exploring how good design benefits bottom lines as well as societies and their urban fabrics.

Before TCA, Jessica gained experience in a variety of project types and environments: in Toronto working on condo high-rises and mixed-use; in Shanghai, China, working on resorts for Peter Fu, of McGill University’s Peter Guo-Hua Fu School of Architecture; in London, UK, working at the international architecture and design publication Dezeen; and in Oakville working on large commercial and industrial developments. She also studied at the University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong and Singapore in the extended architecture studies program Cities in Asia.

Jessica is a fervent believer that poor design does not simply represent a missed opportunity, but that it is tangibly disabling—it is up to all of us to seek better design solutions not only in the built environment, but in all aspects of life. As a member of the Young Architects of Hamilton, she hopes to encourage those outside the industry to demand better design as it affects their lives and communities.

Heroes: Helen Mirren because age does not define swagger. Bob Fletcher for his compassion and selflessness during WWII.

Favourite Buildings:

Parkroyal on Pickering | WOHA | Singapore — Resembling a vertical rain forest, this hotel radiates whimsy and fantasy. Within the larger context of architecture, this intrepid design explores how building science can accommodate our increasingly vertical cities—cities where most people do not have direct access to trees and gardens at the same level of their homes.

1111 Lincoln Road | Herzog & de Meuron | Miami — This parking garage reimagines what a parking garage can be. Most parking garages are only considered for their functional purpose, and not for how they blend into the urban fabric, much less how they can enhance it. Some parking garages are designed to hide their true purpose from the exterior so that they do not disrupt city streets and create alienating streetscapes. This parking garage does not hide what it is, in fact it is lit up at night to celebrate that it is a parking garage, but it does not create a desolate, vapid, and monstrous break in the urban fabric.

Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus Middle Education School (CHIJMES) | Various | Singapore — This convent has been transformed into a shopping, entertainment, event, and theatrical space to stay relevant in contemporary Singapore. Buildings and spaces that have been designed well have longevity beyond their initial purpose. The convent, and its courtyards, have great height and depth proportions. Additionally, the spaces within have been strategically layered both vertically and horizontally with multi-level courtyards, overhangs, porticos, and trees.  These design devices not only create spaces that are large enough to accommodate gatherings and crowds, but also create spaces that still feel comfortable—even intimate—without them.

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The Cannon Knitting Mills

The alternate to good design is always bad design. There is no such thing as no design.” - Adam Judge