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Shortlist Finalists Announced for The New Garage, A Volvo Cars Canada Design Challenge in Partnership with IDS

RICHMOND HILL, ON (Tuesday, February 16, 2021) – Today, Volvo Cars Canada and the Interior Design Show Toronto are pleased to announce the shortlist finalists for The New Garage. The sustainable design challenge saw an outpouring of submissions that could predict the future of garage spaces.


Born from the insights of a recent study that showed 40 per cent of Canadians have the desire to create more livable spaces in their homes, The New Garage Design Challenge aimed to empower conceptual thinkers, design thought leaders, and ultimately inspire all eligible Canadians to re-think the garage and vehicle relationship into one that embodies innovative, beautifully designed and sustainable elements.


From October 29th – December 31st, 2020, design submissions for The New Garage poured in from across Canada. A panel of highly regarded Canadian architects and designers came together to judge the challenge, including: APPAREIL architecture: Kim Pariseau and Justine Dumas, MSDS Studio: Jonathan Sabine and Jessica NakanishiCampos Studio: Javier Campos, and from Sweden, Volvo Cars Head of Design, Robin Page


“We were all agreeably impressed with the diversity in design thinking across the entries,” said Robin Page, Head of Design, Volvo Cars. “The interpretations were clean and modern, Scandianvian-inspired, but also imaginative in the ways they re-framed the space to embrace nature and address more liveable functions.”

While designs were received from entrants of varying backgrounds, levels of experience and regions across Canada, they showed common design themes.


  • Sustainability impact was at the forefront, with energy-efficent solutions that were meticulously considered from the materials to the footprint, all while embracing the natural environment.
  • Scandinavian design was demonstrated in the garage form and materials, showcasing elegant and minimal aesthetic. The designs were clean and modern, with many placing a strong emphasis on light and textures.
  • Functionality was reimagined as the designs expressed new multi-purpose ways to use every inch of the space more thoughtfully and effectively, considering activities that contribute to wellness.
  • Connection was considered as a unique evolution, transforming the garage into an innovative space that was mindful of sharing quality moments with family and community.


The shortlist finalists were determined by the following key criteria:


  • The Concept: How original, innovative, and creative is the vision?
  • The Design: How sustainable and future-proof is the design?
  • The Inspiration: How well does the concept and design complement the key features of the Volvo XC40 Recharge?


The Shortlist Finalists (in alphabetical order):


Jerry Liu and Jesse Basran: Design Partners, BLA Design Group from Vancouver, BC
Jerry and Jesse’s New Garage design, ‘Modul,’ is a prefabricated, modular building that revitalizes suburban laneways. It creates a compact multi-functional space for vehicle parking, storage, home office, and other stay-at-home activities, while encouraging lane activation and interactions between neighbours.


Keillor MacLeod: Industrial Designer, Keillor MacLeod from Toronto, ON

Keillor’s New Garage design is inspired by the Swedish movement of Naturhus to create living spaces surrounded by plants. The garage becomes a greenhouse, encased in insulated glass, to create a self-contained ecological system.


Tiam Maeiyat: R&D Creative Designer, PNH Solutions from Montreal, QC

Tiam’s New Garage design ‘Parking-Parc’ upcycles the garage space into a new form of the family room. Linking inside and outside together with light and transparency, the design creates possibilities for quality family time, regardless of time or season.


Shirley Shen, Travis Hanks, John Roddick, Jorge Roman, Ana Cadena: Haeccity Studio Architecture from Vancouver, BC

Haecity Studio Architecture’s New Garage design, ‘Mainspring’, turns the garage space into a car sharing opportunity for the whole community. By creating a communal garage, all other existing garages in the neighbourhood have the opportunity to be transformed into a new space that invests in mentally and physically recharging activities.


Sean Solowski: Architect, from Toronto, ON

Sean’s New Garage design, ‘Restore’, is a pavilion that embraces technology and honours the natural environment. A reinterpretation of the traditional garage as a space that recharges both motor and mind in equal measure.


The winning submission will be announced in March 2021 and the winner will receive:

  • $2,500 cash prize;
  • Promotion in 2021 in House & Home and Maison et Demeure;
  • The winning New Garage vision will be showcased at the 2021 Toronto IDS.


Survey Methodology:
*From September 8th to September 9th 2020 an online survey of 1,520 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been weighted by education, age, gender and region (and in Quebec, language) to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.


About Volvo Car Canada Ltd.

Volvo Car Canada Ltd. is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCCL provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to the 36 Volvo automobile retailers across Canada. For more information please refer to the Volvo Cars Canada media website at:


About Volvo Car Group

Volvo Cars was founded in 1927. Today, it is one of the most well-known and respected premium car brands in the world with sales of 705,452 cars in 2019 in about 100 countries. Volvo Cars has been under the ownership of the Zhejiang Geely Holding since 2010.


In 2019, Volvo Cars employed on average approximately 41,500 (41,500) full-time employees. Volvo Cars head office, product development, marketing and administration functions are mainly located in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo Cars head office for APAC is located in Shanghai. The company’s main car production plants are located in Gothenburg (Sweden), Ghent (Belgium), South Carolina (US), Chengdu and Daqing (China), while engines are manufactured in Skövde (Sweden) and Zhangjiakou (China) and body components in Olofström (Sweden).


Under its new company purpose, Volvo Cars aims to provide customers with the Freedom to Move in a personal, sustainable and safe way. This purpose is reflected into a number of business ambitions: for example, by the middle of this decade it aims for half of its global sales to be fully electric cars and to establish five million direct consumer relationships. Volvo Cars is also committed to an ongoing reduction of its carbon footprint, with the ambition to be a climate-neutral company by 2040.

XC40 Recharge, 2021, Product News
Descriptions and facts in this press material relate to Volvo Cars's international car range. Described features might be optional. Vehicle specifications may vary from one country to another and may be altered without prior notification.