“The world is our playground”
By: Mudeeha Yousaf

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Envisioning, designing, and creating are the doctrines behind ABCP Architecture – an architectural firm providing full-services in architecture, urbanism, interior design and building management. The Quebec-based company diligently works across national and international markets throughout the institutional, corporate, residential and commercial sectors. Fine craftsmanship and aesthetic appeal is at the core of ABCP, and the architects promote unique solutions to meet industry demands.

Originally founded in 1987 by three architects in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, ABCP expanded the practice by opening up new offices in Montreal in 1996, and in Quebec City in 2002. Not only leaving a mark on the Canadian landscape, the firm expanded to international waters and opened an office in Beijing, China in 2004, and found a niche in Europe thereafter and launched an office in Switzerland in 2008. Today, the corporation has reached a global capacity and conducts projects of all scopes across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. “The founders of ABCP were visionaries and wanted to work all around the world, and I was interested in this notion,” says Francois Moreau, ABCP’s Chef d’enterprise. “The world is our playground.”

The success of the company steadily increased after broadening its service-base to include master planning and urban design, and caters to different private clients around the globe. ABCP landed its position as a leader in the architectural world through a submission proposed for the 2008 Summer Olympics where the company placed third in the international competition for the Beijing National Stadium, or ‘Bird’s Nest.’ This was a pivotal moment for the company who left a presence in China and were invited to work on several projects subsequently. Other international projects that have put ABCP on the map were the Canadian Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo in China and the EdenArcs in the Swiss Alps. “Now we collect projects in Slovakia, France and Switzerland and these projects opened the doors to the European market,” says Francois.

Currently, the firm is hosting a scrupulous amount of projects across the country, such as The New Quebec City Amphitheatre, also known as the Quebecor Arena, which is currently under construction and will be used for ice hockey and other indoor sports. ABCP was an advocate of the arena and motivated the population for its construction, and was appointed to lead the project after the Government agreed to go through with the process and fund the $400 million arena with partners architect. The project, which is among the list of the most stimulating ventures for the firm, is set to be completed in 2015 with a hope towards a future Winter Olympic Games bid. The firm is a proven expert in sports and leisure complexes which is personified through major projects such as the expansion of the PEPS – a $56 million Pavilion expansion project of Physical Education and Sports for Laval University. As well, the award-winning Chauveau Soccer Stadium is an exemplary sporting structure, supporting large volumes of spectators and has received LEED NC Silver certification.

The firm is a specialist in heritage design for institutional buildings – the architectural practice of conserving longstanding structures. ABCP is working in conjunction with Montreal architect Claude Bourbeau and Peter Busby in the restoration of the Normand Maurice Building, one of the most fundamental buildings in the city to be recycled. The project has introduced green principles to the province that has only sustained 82 LEED-registered buildings, and only five that are certified, and the building was one of the first to incorporate LEED Gold requirements. “The project was a landmark in our practice and let clients know we do sustainable design as well as interesting developments.”

ABCP is certified by the Canadian Green Building Council (CaGBC) and are taking their environmental and economic expertise to other countries. “Sustainable development is integrated in all of our projects, and more public and private clients require a minimum of sustainable design in their projects,” says Francois. “We provide an equitable approach that is not only energy efficient but make sure the local industry is guided as well. It’s all part of the puzzle to make sure the projects will be well-received by the city.” ABCP relishes in its recent achievement of the Gold certification in LEED design and deploys practices that put the earth’s ecological needs at the forefront.

Another achievement on the list arose when ABCP, in collaboration with Atelier Claude Guy, received an award from the Ordre des architectes du Quebec OAQ for the rehabilitation of a mail sorting plant into a commercial space. The premise of ABCP is to offer unique spaces with the residents in mind, and use natural light, high ceilings, large windows and clear materials to amplify the sense of space. Now called Place TELUS, the building stands out for its spacious windows, views and focus on user-friendliness, and the building has helped revitalize Quebec City’s Old Port district.

The architects notice there are more PPP (public/private/partnerships) projects in the construction trade and advocate that it is important for the private to make connection with the public. As well, they see an increase in projects focused on wood structures that elevate the overall environmental performance of any building. “We have done some huge buildings where the infrastructure is integrated with wood and this environmental approach is reinforced by our clients.” Constantly looking for innovative tactics to further the growth of the company, ABCP is “well placed in the line to do some big projects and are at the forefront of new ways to approach urban planning. We have internally developed a new way of modelling dimensions that approach natural light.”

ABCP Architecture is on the brink of pursuing opportunities in the United Emirates and wishes to continue to craft intricate spaces that personify what the company stands for. “We want to extend our practice and have expertise in different niches which we want to showcase around the world.”

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