John Cook

Adjunct Professor

John Cook was co-founder of Griffiths Rankin Cook (now grc Architects) in 1985. John has extensive experience in the design of cultural, institutional, commercial, and educational projects including heritage projects such as: the Public Archives/National Library, Rideau Hall, and Queen’s University. John has extensive experience with heritage conservation, from technical restoration projects, to the adaptive re-use of historic buildings, to designing new buildings within heritage districts and cultural landscapes.

John also has urban design and master planning experience, including the award-winning Festival Plaza – a public gathering and events space for Ottawa City Hall, and adjacent to the Rideau Canal UNESCO site. More recently, John directed GRC’s urban design plan and facade rehabilitation design for Les Terrasses de la Chaudière – the Government of Canada’s largest
office complex, which is situated in the cultural landscape of the Parliamentary Precinct and the ceremonial route of
Confederation Boulevard. John has been delivering successful award-winning heritage projects for more than 30 years, and is well versed in the national guidelines and best-practices for heritage work.

As a LEED accredited professional, John has extensive experience with delivering environmentally-friendly and sustainable buildings. GRC’s portfolio of government and educational projects, which are subject to various sustainability standards are
evidence of John’s sustainability experience. At GRC, LEED accredited projects are the norm not the exception. In addition, John has experience negotiating the challenging issues facing accessibility in heritage buildings. Most recently, GRC completed a full condition study for the Sir Leonard Tilley Building (FHBRO recognized), including recommendations on how to best incorporate the NPS standard (a new PSPC standard) on design, sustainability, and accessibility – to our
knowledge it is the first such comprehensive integration of this new standard for a heritage building, puttng GRC at the forefront of new design standards.
John is also very engaged with architectural education and has taught part-time in the design program of Carleton’s School of Architecture since 1983. His voluntary activities include past service as Chair of Ottawa’s Regional Society of Architects,
and membership on the Carleton University Art Gallery’s Advisory Board, and the Heritage District Committee of Ottawa/Rockcliffe.


Diploma in Architecture – Cambridge University, 1980

Master of Arts – Cambridge University, 1979

Bachelor of Arts – Cambridge University, 1976 


Design Studio 

DSA Rome 

Professional Practice Lecture Series


User Engagement 

Adaptive Re-use 

Design Competitions 


Founder and Principal of grc architects (formerly Griffiths Rankin Cook Architects )