Archway and Associate Architect,
St. Catharines

Principals: Stan Szaflarski OAA, MRAIC, AlA
Barbara Plater-Szaflarski, BA, designer and office manager
Employees: currently 4 full-time 2 on contract.
15 years of practice in St. Catharines

Stan Szaflarski got his professional training in Warsaw and Paris. He arrived in St Catharines in 1978 via Paris, Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. When he and his wife first arrived in the Golden Horseshoe, he had no Intention of staying, but he was tempted by an offer to teach architectural design and drafting at the faculty of the Environmental Studies at Niagara College. The college Job gave Stan an excellent opportunity to improve his English and to learn more about the community.
In 1978 Stan and Barbara were selected by Parks Canada to design the historic renovation of Butler's Barracks in the Town of Niagara-on-the-lake. The project introduced them to the rich cultural heritage of the Niagara region.
The dynamic development of the city of Niagara Falls also offered them an opportunity to design a small and large hospitality projects (Park Plaza, Sheraton on the Falls and Crowne Plaza Hotel).
The Niagara region seems to offer good opportunities for a wider scope of work including international projects. A recent commission was for the design of the interiors for the Guardian Angel Mausoleum in Detroit. Another recent project was an office building in Beijing. The firm's latest project - a church seniors complex and cultural centre - Is In the not-too-distant city of Brampton. This project was as a result of Archway and Associate's experience in dealing with communities and probably goes to show that it's the quality of the service, not the location that matters.
Stan Szaflarski believes that to survive in a smaller community it ls necessary to maintain expertise in a variety of areas. Up-to-date knowledge Is critical but traditional skills are also highly valued. Drawing, writing, sketching, a hands-on knowledge of the building process and an ability to discuss the work with labourers and fabricators are all important. ''There is nobody but you to blame for poor service or lack of excellence.''
Stan has maintained his community involvement in a number of ways. He is the founder and president of the Polish Highlanders Association of Canada, past president of the polish Business and Professional association, St Catharines, a past member of the Municipal Interest Group Involved in planning, architectural design and construction requirements for St Catharines and an active participant in the Niagara Marathon Run for the Grapes and other community sport activities ''Basically,” Stan says, “I came to the conclusion that the Niagara region is a good place for business and the development of real relations with the community''

Back to Articles

article from Perspective magazine by the OAA