Woodford Sheppard Architecture is a design studio located in St.John’s, Newfoundland founded by Chris Woodford and Taryn Sheppard in 2013. The company works on small and medium scale projects throughout the Island and in Labrador. Our practice is directed by a focus on creating buildings in context that enhance experience of the natural landscape. The studio team is comprised of individuals with a variety of expertise. These range from environmental sustainability, heritage architecture and art history, to digital fabrication, sculpture, and building construction sciences.
Our body of work includes community centres, private residences, heritage restoration and adaptive reuse projects, as well as institutional park and recreational facilities. Over the past 3 years of its operation, WSA has worked on numerous successful mid-size projects including community centres, town halls, institutional, commercial and retail establishments. We provide a full range of services in the design process from concept to construction.
Our research and design engages with the political economy of materials in an island condition. As a group, we are committed to using design and research as a tool for the autonomous production of culture-framed by context. We are working towards building a body of knowledge about historical and traditional uses of local materials to help inform all of our projects. We see this as a fundamental element of our practice.
Our work, and our office does not seek to fixate on the remoteness of Newfoundland and Labrador. Instead it strives to create spaces and works of all scales that service their communities well. This ultimately entails an appreciation for the varied culture of Newfoundland and Labrador, and an earnest understanding of the complexity of life both on the island and the mainland.
To help form such spaces, and to further resolve the ideas driving their design, we continually seek to find opportunity for experimentation and aesthetic exploration. Ultimately hoping to endorse our vision of balancing social, economic and environmental concerns.
11 Rowan Street, Churchill Square
St. John's, Newfoundland
partner / architect
MRAIC / NLAA / LEED-AP / M.ARCH / BEDS
A native of the Goulds, Newfoundland, Chris Woodford began his architectural education at Dalhousie University in the fall of 2000.
After working on several projects on the island, he headed west to Vancouver BC in 2006 to focus on design, sustainable building, and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings. In 2007, Chris began working at the small but recognized firm of Gair Williamson Architects. In 2011, he joined the team at Saunders Architecture in Bergen, Norway working on projects both locally and in Newfoundland.
Chris’s priority in design is to ensure the physical realization of design through craft. He has focused on maintaining a strong working relationship with contractors and builders through a frequent presence on site. Chris has designed and has overseen the completion of several award winning built works.
Taryn Sheppard is a graduate of the University of Toronto (Master in Architecture) and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University (Bachelor of Fine Arts). Taryn has worked and studied in Toronto, Newfoundland, Italy, and Argentina.
As a contributing writer to Canadian Architect magazine and columnist on architecture for popular local arts and entertainment magazine The Scope, Taryn has established a strong presence as a commentator and critic of architecture and design in Newfoundland. As a designer, Taryn’s interest is in pursuing the formal potential of structures and building systems. Her approach to design includes comprehensive building information modelling combined with an experimental and unconventional design process.
Taryn has been a guest lecturer at a variety of conferences and universities. She has been an advising member on a variety of boards and associations in Canada, including the Canada Council For the Arts, and the City of St. John’s Heritage Advisory Board.
partner / architect
MRAIC / NLAA / M.ARCH / BFA