M J | architecture was established in 2005, when Melana Janzen joined practice with John McMinn, initially operating under the banner of McMinn + Janzen Studio. Previous to this, John McMinn had run for fifteen years as John McMinn Building Studio. The expansion of the practice, with Melana Janzen licenced with the Ontario Association of Architects, allows for a broad scope of work, including institutional projects, alongside a specialization in residential and commercial work. Our years of experience in practice, both independently and in association with other practices, working in a range from very large, to intermediate and more intimate size projects, provides the expertise to design buildings in all sectors at diverse scales. Melana Janzen has been practicing as an architect in Toronto for 8 years with previous architectural experience in New York, Saskatoon and Little Rock Arkansas. In Toronto, Melana previously worked with Moriyama + Teshima Architects, architects Alliance and Philip Beesley Architect, Inc. John McMinn practiced in London and Paris, prior to Toronto, and is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Waterloo, with a research focus in the history of Canadian architecture and cultural aspects of sustainability.
The practice is committed to sustainable principles in architecture, as a fundamental point of orientation. This approach has become a matter of professional integrity, as our society faces the ravaging impacts of environmental degradation and climate change. A further focus of the practice is on the creation of healthful environments. This means respecting the health of the larger exterior environment, the health of the interior physical environment, and the health we can provide to the sensory environment; the mental and spiritual health of the inhabitants. An environment that enlivens the senses, influences the healthy development of our children, the lively environment of our social spaces, and the centered places where we are rejuvenated.
The work of the practice has been featured widely in Canadian and international publications including Dwell, Domus, Canadian Architect and the Globe and Mail. (see recognition)