Sustainable development and social engagement
Responsible architecture and sustainable development are part of the architect’s role in society and the team shares a vision of sensitivity and authenticity as it develops projects in ways that minimize the impact of construction on the natural environment. As much as possible, the firm promotes and suggests local products, materials, and suppliers to its clients. For internal mandates, the firm has repeatedly called upon local suppliers to, for example, produce various elements of its identity.
In the fall of 2022, Alex Lamontagne, a team member with degrees in environmental design and architectural technology, initiated the recycling and revalorization project Récup+Reval. The first phase involved restoring two batches of unused chairs—design icons and relics of the past—left over from the firm’s office expansion and redesign. Lamontagne was joined by Lara Champagne, a designer specialized in restoring carefully selected second-hand objects, and together they proceeded to restore eighteen Prague chairs and three Lotus chairs for resale. The funds raised benefit PROMIS, an organization that supports immigrants and refugees, as well as their families, in their efforts toward cultural, social, and professional integration.
Continuing into a second phase, the project is now looking at a problem that other architectural firms surely face: What can we do with the numerous material samples accumulated over the course of projects? Some can be kept for reference in a material library, but how can we avoid the majority of these samples ending up in a landfill? They are quality materials that can be reinterpreted, revalued, and given a new role. So, the challenge for this second phase is to design and manufacture unique pieces of furniture and household objects made exclusively from recycled material samples. Stay tuned for future communications from the firm and to follow the evolution of this project!
Since it was founded, the firm has continuously supported foundations, non-profit associations, and charitable organizations that operate in Montréal, Québec City, and internationally (Architecture Without Borders). For the fourth consecutive year, the firm is donating time to Moisson Montréal—more than 1,000 hours have been donated. The tasks that team members have accomplished include the transfer and packaging of foodstuffs and the repackaging of frozen foods for distribution to community organizations.
The establishment of a social committee allowed the firm to organize activities that give back to the community or take action to protect the environment. The committee was able to organize clean-up operations in parks surrounding the office and the first edition of Je LooP !, a circular economy event in which employees took part in a garage sale among colleagues. Beyond giving a second life to objects, the sale made it possible to give back to the community by raising funds to benefit the organization The Lighthouse, Children and Families. The unsold items were donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Montréal.