Dee Dee Taylor Hannah, an architect and interior designer extraordinaire, is the founder of Taylor Hannah Architect Inc (THA), a multi-disciplinary practice based in Toronto, Canada that has been spreading its wings internationally to cater to ultrahigh-end clients in the residential and hospitality sectors.
Dee Dee is an award winning and honours graduate from the University of Toronto School of Architecture and a member of the Ontario Association of Architects and the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada.
In the span of her 30-year career, she has positioned THA as a leading luxury brand offering architectural, interior design and development services, as well as product design, from jewellery to fashion; from furniture to table settings. THA’s projects range from superyachts, private aircraft,
homes, country estates, multi-unit resort living, condos and restaurants across North America and the Bahamas. “THA is wherever luxury lives.”
The practice’s DNA is defined by “iconic design that transcends beauty. This is our litmus test”, says Dee Dee. More recently, THA has expanded with the launch of TH Curation, a mother and daughter offshoot, conceived and managed by Rachael Taylor Hannah.
TH Curation identifies and collaborates with local craftsmen to curate timeless design collections and introduce them to the consumer.
“Legacy is central to my mission. Those who are experts in their craft respect the past and present as they look to the future. This is why my mom’s thirty-years of experience is critical to Taylor Hannah Curation. Each collaboration’s purpose is to provide the consumer with insider access to gifted creatives with
compelling stories and pieces that reflect the client’s aspirations.”
In the rarefied world of starchitects and celebrity designers, THA retains its competitive edge by creating a blend of new and old, infused with a special artistic sparkle throughout, and upholding good taste and authenticity.
THE CLASSIC PENTHOUSE/TODAY’S CLASSICAL BLEND
The top floor of an iconic 1950s office building converted to a condominium of some 4500 ft2, with 12ft ceilings, 2 bedroom, gallery hallways, lounge
living with no formal dining space, gold wallpaper walls, stone archways, wood panelled walls. Classical elements laid down then topped by a modern layer. Furniture pieces from Paris, USA and Canada.
“While our clients own their environments, we are editing their lives with creations that speak for themselves.” Like all stratospheric architects/designers, Dee Dee is a personality in her own right. She has participated in countless TV shows, events, talks, lectures, award dinners, too many to list, and has authored two books, one of which “Dee Dee’s Rules”.
But, in order to break the rules, you need to know the rules to begin with, she points out. An all-important rule is to maintain respect and seek problem-solving consensus to eliminate potential mistakes because “construction is costly and everyone has a threshold”. Ultimately, choosing an architect is about a symbiotic relationship between professional and client.
“You walk into a room of 100 people but you gravitate to 20 persons
and end up dancing away the night with one. And so it is with
selecting the right architect and/or designer.”
THA’s sustainability credentials are based on ingenious renovation
and bold reinterpretation of historical pieces, juxtaposed with
classic modern ones.
In a Nassau project local furniture was repurposed. In Toronto,
a 1910 fireplace was refurbished, using bronze metal and linear
Dee Dee is neither a controlled maximalist nor a minimalist: her
guiding ethos is beauty, order and perfection in all things.
THE ART CONDO
In a Robert Stern building, a 2500 ft2 corner unit, with royal blue lacquered doors throughout, bold stone patterns, graphic art throughout, leather dining room walls, a wood panelled living room with a rolled steel fireplace.
She has also designed a number of yachts, most notably a Feadship, a sailing yacht in Newport, and a restoration of a wooden 1903 74’
Paulson. She is currently developing her own private project in Nassau, a collaboration of architectural renovation and purity in its interiors, where she using local tradesmen.
“Two pavilions connected by a bridge, an articulated cedar and metal seam roof overlooking the ocean and the canal, with a transition of beautiful spaces both indoor and out
Every bedroom is a suite in itself with a formal concrete exterior staircase taking you to the main living pavilion. The scheme has
bold colours, black, white, stainless steel and concrete – all great notes for a perfect sheet of music.”
Dee Dee’s definition of iconic design: “Strong lines that outlasts the test of time, rather than one liners.”
The guiding principles that underpin her own work are: Axis, Symmetry, Repetition, Balance, Classic Rules and knowing the language in order to be able to interpret.