Zwicker Zareski Architecture + Planning (ZZap) are pleased to announce the addition of two new partners, Connor Wallace and Justine Bowles, effective June 1st. 

ZZap was founded in 2018 by planner Greg Zwicker (MURP’00) and architect Joe Zareski (MArch’98) and has established a reputation as the primary integrated firm in Atlantic Canada for planning, land development, real estate development and building design. The addition of the two partners is part of a long-term vision for growth and fostering the next generation of young leaders in the planning and design space.

Joe Zareski states, “We are looking to build a sustainable, dynamic business and part of this is opening the ownership model. We are deeply committed to building our firm from within and Justine and Connor represent the next generation of thinkers.”

The current business environment has heightened the need for a more integrated model, like the one ZZap operates. Architects understand building and design rules and planners understand the implications. This fusion of the two specialties is in high demand as people re-evaluate the living, working and playing model in residential and commercial spaces. 

Greg Zwicker comments, “It’s very important to understand the context of a site. We see two highly talented individuals in Justine and Connor – and the collaboration between two disruptors is a way of getting people excited about a project. Our firm represents the value of their disciplines woven together.”

In the interest of the practice and clients, ZZap has recently begun to evaluate Centre Plan Package B and review design implications, working in partnership with HRM to get the biggest benefit of the plan. Wallace is spearheading the project and as part of this, providing feedback and recommendations on real world examples. ZZap is also engaged on the first Centre Plan project, Werkliv’s Seymour Street project. 

Zareski adds, “This is a pivotal moment for architecture and planning in our city and beyond. The current business environment presents us opportunities to navigate the new normal and thinking differently about design. We are grateful to have talent across our entire team and within the ranks of our clients who will allow us to put great ideas to work.”

About ZZap

Zwicker Zareski Architecture + Planning – ZZap – integrates into property owners’ and developers’ operations as a strategic design partner during early site conceptualization to optimize development potential and design quality for Urban and Suburban sites. With 40 years of combined industry experience, principals Greg Zwicker MCIP, LPP and Joe Zareski, NSAA, MRAIC, believe that the fusion of architecture and planning that listens to ‘the place’ and builds consensus through authentic and meaningful engagement results in distinct projects that are embraced by the communities they serve. 

Justine Bowles (MArch’16)

Justine believes that the aspirations of a project should always lead to considered, thoughtful designs. 

As an emerging architect with a wealth of environmental design experience, Justine is passionate about creating built spaces that contribute to the unique fabric of Atlantic Canada’s towns and cities. She understands the responsibility of the architect to establish trusted relationships and ultimately deliver functional, enduring, and beautiful design.

Justine has led a variety of architectural projects ranging from multi-family, commercial and site planning design, to renovation and remediation projects. With experience throughout North America, she has developed an understanding of building technologies of varying climates. Most recently, Justine has refined her expertise in Heritage renovation and development, with her work focusing on the balance of the craftmanship and detail of Heritage properties and the contemporary character of new design. Throughout her career, Justine has been drawn to projects with an emphasis on collaboration and she prides herself in providing positive built-form outcomes for both her clients and the community. 

Justine holds a Master of Architecture degree from the Dalhousie University School of Architecture and a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from St. Francis Xavier University. Before joining the ZZap team, Justine worked at award winning firms in Yellowknife, New York, and most recently, in Halifax at Kassner Goodspeed Architects. Completing all requirements, Justine expects to be a licenced architect in the coming months. 

Connor Wallace (BCD’15)

Connor is an industry leading urban planner with an unwavering focus on collaborative design. 

His comprehensive understanding of municipal regulatory frameworks in relation to client goals gives him an innate ability to identify trends, opportunities and standards that can be successfully applied to a specific project and its surrounding community.

With a vested interest in sustainable growth of the region, Connor has led a variety of planning and development projects including municipal planning policy and by-law reviews, master plans and development applications. He is known for bringing clarity to the planning process and enjoys bringing people around a table to build consensus through a collaborative design approach, resulting in projects embraced by the community.

He strongly believes that successful placemaking comes from the fusion of urban planning and architecture, and the natural integration of the two disciplines. 

Connor is a graduate of the Dalhousie University School of Planning and holds a Bachelor of Community Design with Honours in Urban Design and Sustainability. He also studied at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia through Dalhousie’s international exchange program. Connor is the recipient of the Dalhousie School of Planning Community Design Thesis Prize in Transportation for his thesis on creating a Transit Oriented Development Concept and Framework for Halifax’s West End. Prior to joining ZZap, Connor was an urban planner with WSP Canada. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP). 

For more information on ZZap’s approach and work, visit their website or follow them on LinkedIn or Instagram.