Today, the RAIC announced the Toronto-based architect Luc Bouliane as the recipient of the 2018 Young Architect Award. The annual honor, which recognizes architects 40 years or younger, is intended to inspire other young architects to become licensed and to strive for excellence in their work. Previous recipients include Batay-Csorba Architects—also hailing from Toronto—who won the accolade last year, and the Vancouver-based Scott & Scott Architects.
Bouliane, who grew up in the northern community of Sault Ste. Marie, surrounded by Lake Superior and rock outcrops, is inspired by the geology of Northern Ontario and his designs draw upon natural forms such as geodes and drumlins. “His work has strong sculptural qualities,” the jury said. “The spaces are dynamic in terms of composition, shapes, and forms, and the level of detail."
After working for Teeple Architects for 10 years, Bouliane established his own firm, Lebel & Bouliane, along with his partner Natasha Lebel in 2010. Since then, the eight-person firm has developed a body of work with a focus on cultural institutions, adaptive re-use projects in heritage buildings, and custom residences. “He’s on a different trajectory for a young office" the jury also noted. "He has pursued larger public work from the very beginning, including commercial work, which is unusual."
Recent projects for the firm include the 2015 expansion and renovation of the National Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, in Halifax, NS, (with architect David J. Agro); the Bensimon Byrne ad agency in the CBC Building (2016); renovations to the York University Student Centre (2012), and the widely published Relmar Houses in Toronto (2015), awarded a Tucker Design Award for excellence in the use of natural stone. Current projects include a new Clearview Public Library branch in Stayner, ON, and renovations to both New College at the University of Toronto, and the Toronto office headquarters for Sidewalk Labs.
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