Jack Kobayashi is the President of Kobayashi + Zedda Architects (KZA) based in Whitehorse, Yukon. With 18 full-time employees, KZA is the largest pure design firm in Canada’s North.
By virtue of working in Canada’s sparsely populated northern territories, KZA shuns specialization, preferring to achieve competence in a wide variety of building types including residential, commercial, correctional, educational, health care and recreational.
KZA strives to provide design that is regionally appropriate, sustainable, and reflective of First Nations values and maintains a part-time indigenization consultant on staff.
In 2006, the Firm was awarded the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture (Canada Council for the Arts). The Firm has also received three British Columbia Lieutenant-Governor’s Awards for architecture and a 2012 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence.
Jack is also Vice-President of 360 Design Build, a Yukon-based construction and development firm that designs, builds and manages a wide variety of residential and commercial buildings in the north. It is this hands-on approach that has allowed the firm to maintain a pragmatic understanding of design and construction methodologies.
As a community-based operation, KZA opened Baked Café & Bakery in 2007 in the space below their office. The concept was based on the writings of sociologist Ray Oldenburg’s 1989 book “The Great Good Place”.
In the book, Oldenburg stressed the importance of everyone having a ‘third place’ – being the social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home (first place) and the workplace (second place). The architects helped to create a vibrant community and social hub for the downtown core and reinvigorate street life in that area.