OTTAWA—A Montreal firm described as designing fresh, contemporary houses inspired by the informal qualities of Montreal’s residential lanes is the recipient of the 2016 Emerging Architectural Practice Award given by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC).
La Shed Architecture, a nine-person office, was founded in 2011 by Renée Mailhot, Sébastien Parent and Yannick Laurin. The trio graduated in 2008 from the University of Montreal, where they met. Their work includes free-standing houses and house additions in tight urban contexts as well as small commercial projects and vacation properties.
"This is a recently created firm that has developed a coherent and consistent body of high-quality architectural work in a rapid time frame," said the five-member jury in a media statement released March 4. "It has achieved this while often working within limited budgets."
The Emerging Architectural Practice Award recognizes the principals of an emerging architectural practice that has consistently produced distinguished architecture, indicated the media release. The award recognizes the quality of built work, service to clients, innovations in practice and public recognition.
"La Shed has developed a strong urban signature," said the jury. "The work is original, authentic and exhibits a strong sense of curiosity. The projects take a sophisticated and often inventive approach. The examples appear well rooted in the local community."
"La Shed has found a way to produce great work in a market in which architectural success is often elusive – the small home renovation," said RAIC president Allan Teramura.
"Their accessible designs reflect the life circumstances of their clients while achieving a high level of design character. One imagines that working with them is also a lot of fun."
The award will be presented at a ceremony at the RAIC Festival of Architecture, which takes place in Nanaimo, B.C. from June 8 to 11.