Installation view of Beyond Lines. Harbourfront Centre. Photography: Kathrin Hyun.

Beyond Lines

Drew Mandel Architects

May 29 – May 29, 2020FREE

Beyond Lines maps a typical, residential Toronto streetscape on which five Drew Mandel Architects houses have been modeled.

Five string-models emphasize our interest in the three-dimensional experience of architecture rather than a focus on a two-dimensional image of a house. Like three-dimensional sketches, they express the dematerialized building. It is architecture, not about assembling cues adding up to “house” or the image of the thing only, but rather the slow, unfolding experience of a place.

The string line drawings underline the interconnected spatial relationships that reach outside the boundaries of the building envelope and into the sites, the sky and to the landscapes beyond.

The base of the exhibit describes the figure-ground relationship and highlights the urban design aspects of the projects. Unlike the now-common McMansion developments, these projects resist the convention to simply fill the maximum zoning envelope with an object-building largely undifferentiated from site to site.

TEAM MEMBERS: Drew Mandel, Jowenne Poon, Rachel Tameirao


Drew Mandel Architects was established in Toronto in 2004. Projects include residences, commercial and residential interiors, landscapes, a small office building, and product design. Ranging from personal objects to city fabric, the design intent is always the development of a place or thing connected to, and reflective of, its context and client. The firm’s built work explores architecture as experience; the unfolding of interconnected spaces, animated by light and material texture. At moments the architecture alternatively creates its own internal landscape and acts as an armature through which to engage the landscape.

Honours include the City of Toronto Urban Design Awards, the Ontario Association of Architects Awards of Excellence and Best of Canada Awards. The office’s work has appeared in numerous national and international publications and exhibitions, including Dwell, Wallpaper*, Toronto Life, Azure, The Globe and Mail, 1000 X Architecture of the Americas, Canadian Interiors and the National Post.

The office is currently involved in designing a number of residential buildings, including a Toronto ravine residence (to be completed in 2011), as well as the restoration, renovation and addition to a heritage house commissioned by Lawren Harris in Toronto in 1930.