RAIC Awards–Young Architect

Maxime-Alexis Frappier graduated in 2000 from the Université de Montréal School of Architecture, winning a Canadian Architect Student Award of Excellence for his thesis work. From 2000 to 2006, he worked for Saucier + Perrotte architectes on various projects such as the Schulich School of Music at McGill University, the First Nations Pavilion at the Montreal Botanical Garden, the New College student residence at the University of Toronto, the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, and the Michel Brisson boutique in Montreal.

In 2006, he co-founded ACDF Architecture, which is now comprised of 35 passionate professionals. Since the creation of ACDF, he has worked on several projects throughout Canada, Abu Dhabi and Dubai (UAE), Can-Tho (Vietnam) and Jakarta (Indonesia). His conceptual approach to design is based on the precise understanding of the user’s needs. From this, he creates spaces where functionality and efficiency give legitimacy and strength to a sensory and poetic approach to architectural design.

His first constructed project with ACDF was St-Germain Égouts et Aqueducs, which received a Governor General’s Award in Architecture in 2010, in addition to an Award of Excellence from the Quebec Association of Architects in 2009. This work, along with other recent projects, has been published in more than 30 international magazines.

Since 2005, Frappier has been an invited professor at the Université de Montréal School of Architecture. He has also been a frequent guest critic at both Laval University and Dawson College. His teaching methodology is based on an intuitive approach that encourages the use of physical and 3D modelling and videos. He has been a guest instructor at the University of Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, and was invited to give a special lecture at the University of Taipei after participating as a finalist in the prestigious Keelung Terminal international competition alongside such renowned architecture firms as Mecanoo, Asymptote and Neil M. Denari Architects.

He has organized several student exhibitions including Îlot Voyageur at the Galerie Monopoli in Montreal in 2006 and Iconic Saigon Proposals in March 2011 in Vietnam, and has been a jury member for several important architectural competitions in Quebec including la Bibliothèque Saul-Bellow, la Salle de Spectacle de Mont-Laurier, and the new offices for l’Ordre des architectes du Québec.

Frappier has often been invited to speak about architecture and creativity, and has written a weekly segment on the radio program L’après-midi porte conseil for Radio-Canada. He has been a guest on the TV program CRÉER à ARTV. Frappier has also contributed to the TV series Les tavernes du Québec, which is shown on the Historia channel.

In addition to his efforts in promoting the profession and role of architecture in the media, Frappier has been an elected director of the Fonds d’assurance de l’Ordre des architectes du Québec since 2011. He is also an active board member of Maison de l’architecture du Québec, which is concerned with the promotion of young architects and their work in Quebec.

Jury Comments

The jury was impressed by the quality and breadth of work achieved by so young an architect. Jury members appreciated the clarity of the work, the bold forms, strong material palette and a clear ability to address site. Several projects are situated in challenging sites–whether due to the presence of infrastructure or complex topography. The buildings engage site, but equally construct their own, and mark a presence in their surrounding context. In addition, Frappier is exceptionally committed to the profession and vigorously contributes to training future architects both within his firm and as a university instructor. 

The jury for this award was comprised of PeterCardew, MRAIC; Eric Haldenby, FRAIC; Marianne McKenna, FRAIC; Anne Cormier, MIRAC; and Lola Sheppard, MRAIC.