Chevalier Morales Architectes, a Montreal-based architectural firm that reflects the positive impact of the architectural competition process in Quebec, is the recipient of the 2018 Emerging Architectural Practice Award awarded by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC).
After working for more than a decade for major Canadian firms, Stephan Chevalier and Sergio Morales founded Chevalier Morales Architectes in 2005. The practice, with 15 architects and contributors, has created a series of impressive works via private houses and competitions for cultural projects.
“This firm has become successful because of the opportunity to participate in competitions,” said the five-member jury. “They have grown as a successful young practice because of public policymaking and the opportunities that it creates.”
The Emerging Architectural Practice Award recognizes the principals of an emerging architectural practice that has consistently produced distinguished architecture. The award recognizes the quality of built work, service to clients, innovations in practice, and public recognition.
The jury was impressed with the craftsmanship of their work. “Their work is creative, inventive, fresh, strong, sensitive to details, almost poetic,” the jury said. “There’s a mastery of building technology. They’ve demonstrated very mature work for an emerging firm.”
The awards will be presented at the RAIC/AANB Festival of Architecture to be held in Saint John, from May 30-June 2.
“The challenge for any up-and-coming practice is often working in the shadows with limited resources,” said principal architects Sergio Morales and Stephan Chevalier. “While this can be an exciting and fertile period that demands resourcefulness and creativity, it is very nice to feel the warmth of the light shone on our practice via the 2018 Emerging Architectural Practice Award. The recognition and publicity that come with this award validate our efforts and increase our motivation to continue to produce quality architecture for our clients and the public.”
Recent projects include:
- Bibliothèque de Drummondville, 2017, Drummondville, QC
- Maison de la littérature, 2015, Quebec City, QC
- Bibliothèque Saul-Bellow library, 2015, Lachine, QC
- Altitude Penthouse, 2015, Montreal, QC
- Résidence Vallée du Parc, 2015, Shawinigan, QC
- Résidence Roy-Lawrence, 2014, Sutton, QC
Their cultural projects have been highly successful and have had a positive impact on their respective communities. One such example is the Maison de la littérature. Both a public library and centre for literary creation, it has given a contemporary physical identity to Quebec City’s literary community and renewed the appeal of current literature for youth. The contemporary addition to a former neo-gothic church and the interiors have become signature attractions of Old Quebec City attracting both general and specialized tourism.
The Maison de la littérature has garnered several awards, including the Grand prix d’excellence and the Prix d’excellence en architecture of the Quebec Order of Architects, in 2017, and the 2014 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence. The firm also received the Quebec Order of Architects’ Award of Excellence for the Résidence Roy-Lawrence in Sutton, Quebec, in 2015.
The jury noted the way their designs draw people through the buildings, describing them as “sleek and clean, warming and welcoming and evoking a nice feeling going inside.”
The firm’s principals teach in several Canadian universities and are also regularly invited as guest speakers and reviewers. By serving on competition juries, the principal architects continue to expand their efforts to improve the built environment.
- Peter Busby, FRAIC, Principal, Perkins + Will, Vancouver, BC
- Andrew Batay-Csorba, MRAIC, Principal, Batay-Csorba Architects, Toronto, ON
- Johanna Hurme, FRAIC, Principal, 5468796 architecture Winnipeg, MB
- Renée Mailhot, MIRAC, Founder, La SHED architecture, Montreal, QC
- Diogo Burnay, Director, Dalhousie University School of Architecture, Halifax, NS
Photos via Chevalier Morales Architectes.