Full Service Architecture & Design Studio
National Automotive Retail Design
Experience Design Specialists
RH Carter Architects provides full architectural, design and construction document and administration services. The firm is an industry-leading brand, design and implementation specialist, offering architectural and experience related services across Canada.
Mentorship & Growth
RH Carter Architects was established in 1985 by Ron Carter; a leading architect and designer in Toronto who commenced his early practice with the design and development of the landmark Armouries Hotel in London, Ontario. His early practice focused on high school, elementary school and industrial projects in and around the Greater Toronto Area.
Joined by Joseph Ricci, Brian Danby and Robert Arnone in 1988, the practice went on to specialize in the design and development of national automotive retail programs across Canada, residential projects in the Toronto area and resort developments in and around Muskoka, Ontario
Current owner and President Robert Arnone is celebrating 30 years in practice and has overseen significant growth in the firm.
He defines the practice by its exceptional staff. “We promote a thriving and dynamic culture of design professionals who reflect the diversity and energy of North America’s 4th largest city."
The firm is an industry-leading brand design and implementation specialist. “We bring over three decades of specialized national and international retail design experience to our clients using state of the art architectural design software and creative customer experience development and management systems. In addition to developing broad, cross-country design campaigns, we also specialize in individual, thoughtful and contextual design solutions for commercial developments, industrial buildings, mid-rise condominiums and single-family residences.
The firm has enjoyed success on a multitude of projects, having collaborated with Apple Inc. and Gensler on the design and construction of their first Apple stores in Canada located throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
Internationally, they have designed numerous facilities for Infiniti in South and Central America and continue to work with innovative design teams from The United States, Sweden and Japan on the re-design of branding initiatives and retail programs throughout Canada. Currently they are collaborating with Genesis Motors on the launch of their global design initiative; the prototype for which in Seoul, South Korea, was first conceived by OMA of Rotterdam.
The firm shares a devotion and uncompromising commitment to design excellence and customer service.
The firm believes that listening to the needs of clients and working through and ultimately distilling an exceptional design solution is the essence of the architectural process.
Equally as important, they believe that design needs to account for - and celebrate - the user experience; that the building acts as a backdrop for the experience and what transpires within and around the bricks and mortar is equally as important as is how people interact within it.
Today the firm also specializes in developing plans for and assessing the success of customer experience journeys in retail environments.
They develop design solutions and roll out plans and build web applications and databases to collect information to allow clients to improve their environments, strengthen their brand and create better customer experiences on a more consistent basis. This is made possible through the launch of Customer Experience Analytics (CXA).
For more, visit CXA at: https://cxanalytics.ca/
Our retail design process
Gather information to better understand the unique brand promise and intended market.
Collaborate with the client, and assist with the interpretation and development of the unique brand expression, design requirements, experience goals and reference those ideas against the Canadian (or respective) market.
Visit with local facilities
Meet to review facilities across the country and review the implementation of brand elements in respective local markets. Test design and experience design criteria on both new build and renovation options.
Collaborate with local consultants to ensure the success of each project.
Develop designs specific to market requirements
Develop brand compliant and unique design solutions for each location that honours and respects the design criteria document, but accounts for the individual and specific local issues; renovations and new builds alike.
Assist in advancing of the design criteria document and specific local designs into a construction project, often collaborating with local talent with a common end goal: the successful development of a brand compliant facility.
With project under construction, review at regular intervals the successful implementation of the brand and design experience elements.
Consult with the client to translate their unique value proposition into a brand experience combining both brick and mortar requirements with customer experience journey maps.
Design the environments with a focus on the quality of the total user experience.
Create design criteria documents (DCDs) to present and roll out the brand message
Develop a specific and unique design criteria document; an information package to map out the extent and intent of the program and create consistency in the delivery of the program from coast to coast in small and large markets.
Corporate design sign-off message
Receive confirmation on design, experience and brand compliance and receive approval to proceed.
Oversee and confirm compliance on behalf of the client, through the various stages of the project. From the review of documents submitted to authorities having jurisdiction, to the review (or preparation) of construction documents.
Attend informational and educational sessions to understand the unique brand promise and intended market.
Work together with the client, and assist with the interpretation and development of the program for the Canadian (or, respective) market.
Consult with client to translate their unique value proposition into a brand experience
For example: Experience Design – the practice of designing environments with a focus on the quality of the user experience.
Visit with brand franchisee
Meet with brand franchisee, in order to best understand how to implement the brand elements
into the local condition and market (whether it is a renovation or new build project).
Collaborate with local consultants to ensure success
of each project
Create design criteria documents to present and roll-out the brand
Create a Design Criteria Document (DCD).
The DCD is the information package for the individual franchisee; and, contains the schematic design and material finishes for either the proposed renovation or new build project.
Develop designs specific to market requirements
Establish metrics, such as projected sales volumes, product pipeline and area of responsibility, to ensure the facility is right-sized for its market.
Corporate design sign-offmessage
Corporate partner and franchisee agree to proposed scope of project and preliminary budget.
Select local consultants (in partnership with franchisee) to transition the DCD from the Schematic Design stage into the Construction Document stage.
Option 1: as architects of record, R. H. Carter Architects oversees the creation of the Construction Documents through to construction.
Option 2: as program architect, R. H. Carter Architects reviews the final Construction Documents.
Franchisee commences construction.
In both Options 1 & 2 R. H. Carter performs reviews during construction and issues a final compliant review document.