RAIC announces 2020 Architectural Firm Award recipient

marc boutin architectural collaborative inc. (MBAC), a Calgary-based multi-scale firm, is the recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 2020 Architectural Firm Award.

Photo courtesy of raic.org

“MBAC’s collective body of work, framed as the Landscape of Memory, adeptly traverses across scales,” said the 2020 Jury in a collective comment.  “The studio itself operates uniquely within an integrated practice model. Marc and his team embody a true commitment to architectural education, mentorship, public awareness, and the growth of architects.”

The RAIC Architectural Firm Award recognizes the achievements of a firm for its quality of architecture, service to clients and innovations in practice. It also takes into account the firm’s contribution to architectural education and professional organizations, as well as public recognition.

Notable projects from MBAC include:

  • Courtyard House, Calgary AB
  • Calgary Public Building Restoration, Calgary AB
  • The Fourth Street SW Underpass Enhancement, Calgary AB
  • Varsity Multi-Service Redevelopment, Calgary AB
  • Ambelside Integrated Site, Edmonton AB
  • The Sunalta Community Hub, Calgary AB

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 Conference because of the COVID-19 pandemic, MBAC will be honoured as award recipients at the RAIC 2021 Conference on Architecture in Montreal, QC.

Since its inception in 1997, marc boutin architectural collaborative inc. MBAC has operated at the boundary between design disciplines—seeking a density of meaning that emerges through the synthesis of art, architecture, urban design, and landscape design. This characteristic interdisciplinarity both characterizes and enriches the quality of the firm’s work by the emphasis it places on the relationships between scales of design.

Over the past 20-plus years, MBAC has been recognized for design excellence for both unrealized and built projects across a broad spectrum of project types—from custom houses to large cultural buildings and recreation centers to public plazas. This recognition has come in the form of local, regional, national awards, and international awards including numerous Mayor’s Urban Design Awards in Calgary and Edmonton, several Prairie Design Awards, nine Canadian Architect Awards, a Progressive Architecture Award, a Canadian Society of Landscape Architecture National Honour, National Urban Design Awards, and a Landscape Network Award ‘Top 10 Public Space Award’.

As a design firm that champions the importance of public space in a northern climate, MBAC continues to frame sustainability as a design driver that ought to be considered pluralistically, and in the interest of social equity. MBAC is proud to pursue accreditation programs such as LEED® and WELL—but also prides itself on engaging in architectural issues that impact the broader conceptual and environmental boundaries of social justice and the built environment. To that end, MBAC is as proud of the Calgary Public Building Restoration being the first LEED® Platinum accredited project for the City of Calgary, introducing food security as a design driver for the upcoming Sunalta Community Hub.

MBAC has been home to nearly 40 employees, serving as a rich and vibrant point of design exchange and innovation. Led by Marc Boutin, the current staff includes Tony Leong, Richard Cotter, Nathaniel Wagenaar, Michelle Smith Cowman, Fatima Rehman, Brett Sanderson, Trevor Steckly, Tim Smith, Kalie Widmer, and Ashley Ortlieb. As the firm continues to evolve and engage new design territories, it remains dedicated to the proposition that the best design ideas are the product of intensive, interdisciplinary collaboration, and preoccupied with a desire to leverage architecture’s capacity to materially enrich where and how we live.

The composition of the 2020 jury is:

  • Diarmuid Nash, PP/FRAIC Chair of the Jury
    Moriyama & Teshima Architects
  • Rami Bebawi, MRAIC
    Quebec, QC
  • Pat Hanson, FRAIC
    Toronto, ON
  • Jessie Andjelic, MRAIC
    Calgary, AB
  • Omar Gandhi, MRAIC
    Omar Gandhi Architect
    Halifax, NS
  • Shelley Craig, FRAIC
    Urban Arts Architecture
    Vancouver, BC