Pina Petricone’s work and research is centred around tectonics, craft and the detail as an urbanist practice where diversity and durability are mined from the specificity of each project to define an approach to city-building at every scale. Petricone is a founding principal with Ralph Giannone of Giannone Petricone Architects in Toronto. She guides the studio to deliver innovative, visionary and widely recognized work by leading and advancing the firm’s creative and research output to be at the forefront of industry practice and professional knowledge. Petricone oversees and guides projects with studio teams to optimize design quality, to foster teaching and learning, and to test projects for positive impact on the world.
Petricone’s creativity and love of design has led to some of GPA’s most remarkable projects including the award-winning Daniels Waterfront City of the Arts, The Royal Hotel and Annex in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Ravine House built on the ruins of a John Parkin House along the Rosedale Ravine in Toronto, the Block 22 affordable housing complex for the Regent Park Revitalization Project, the Herman Miller Canadian Design Centre, and the Trinity College Centre for Ethics, an interfaculty and interdisciplinary initiative at the University of Toronto.
As a principal of Giannone Petricone Architects and a professor of architecture at the University of Toronto, Petricone’s dual role enables her to contribute intellectual rigour and research to the firm’s projects and processes, as well as to give real projects academic consideration. Petricone teaches design and theory at all levels of the Master of Architecture program, and has recently been awarded a LEAF Impact Grant by the Vice Provost for Innovation in Undergraduate Teaching to develop a unique design research internship program for graduating Architectural Studies students.
Petricone’s book, Concrete Ideas: Material to Shape a City (Thames & Hudson, 2012; ORO Publishers, 2014) visually speculates, through a series of montages, drawings and photographs, about concrete architecture’s capacity as an urban catalyst, its capacity for defining cities and for virtuosity in urban renewal. It is another iteration of speculations begun with 13 students in her graduate architecture studio at the University of Toronto of the same name. The work uses the case of Toronto with its predominant 1960s and 1970s brutalist stock and unique minus-30-degree-Celsius to plus-30-degree-Celsius Canadian climate to test socio-cultural and aesthetic speculations with building projects that challenge the limits of concrete performance.
Petricone has presented her work and research at several international conferences and symposia, including the Columbia University Think Tank on the Building Intelligence Project, IF World Conference at the Politecnico di Milano, the Banff sessions on Architecture in Banff, Alberta, and the Tectonics: Making Meaning Conference at the Eindhoven Technical University in the Netherlands. Her work and research have been published widely in Canada, the U.S., Asia and Europe.
Petricone received her undergraduate professional degree in architecture from the University of Toronto in 1991 and a masters degree in architecture from Princeton University in 1995. She became a fellow of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada in 2015.