Toronto architect wins RAIC 2018 Young Architect Award

Toronto-based architect, Luc Bouliane, wins RAIC’s 2018 Young Architect Award.
Photo © Tom Arban

The designs of Luc Bouliane, MRAIC, are inspired by the geology of Northern Ontario. The recipient of the 2018 Young Architect Award of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) credits his upbringing in the community of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.—surrounded by Lake Superior and rock outcrops—for the geometrically complex forms of his designs.

Some of his recent projects include:

  • the 2015 expansion and renovation of the National Museum of Immigration (with architect David J. Agro) at Pier 21 in Halifax.
  • the Bensimon Byrne ad agency in the CBC Building (2016), Toronto;
  • renovations to the York University Student Centre (2012); and
  • the widely published Relmar Houses in Toronto (2015) for which he was awarded a Tucker Design Award for excellence in the use of natural stone.

“His work has strong sculptural qualities,” said the five-member selection jury. “It is interesting. The spaces are dynamic in terms of composition, shapes, and forms, and the level of detail.”

The RAIC Young Architect Award recognizes architects 40 years or younger for excellence in design, leadership, and service to the profession. The award is intended to inspire other young architects to become licensed and to strive for excellence in their work.

The award will be presented at the RAIC/AANB Festival of Architecture which takes place in Saint John from May 30 to June 2.

A graduate of the University of Waterloo’s architecture program, Bouliane worked for 10 years for Teeple Architects in Toronto before establishing Lebel & Bouliane in 2010 with his partner Natasha Lebel.

The eight-person studio has developed a body of work with a focus on cultural institutions, adaptive re-use projects in heritage buildings, and custom residences. Current projects include a new branch of Clearview Public Library in Stayner, Ont., and renovations to both New College at the University of Toronto, and the Toronto office headquarters for Sidewalk Labs.

Bouliane has been a guest lecturer and critic at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and OCAD University, as well as a critic at Ryerson University. In 2015, his work was part of Twenty + Change, an exhibition showcasing emerging practices in Canada.

“Throughout my career, I have been very fortunate to work with clients who share a commitment to design excellence and recognize the value of a strong design concept,” he says. “Their trust and enthusiasm have provided the opportunity for meaningful architectural exploration and innovative solutions to their unique design challenges.”

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