Founded in 1995 by Gavin Affleck and Richard de la Riva and based in Montreal, Canada, Affleck de la Riva Architects believe that quality environmental design is an agent of social change and a key element in fostering citizenship, social equity, and healthy lifestyles. The firm provides services for the design and construction of institutional, commercial and residential projects and has also developed specific expertise in urban design and the restoration of historic structures.
For more than twenty years, through a wide range and scale of projects including research, competitions, and built work, Affleck de la Riva has been exploring the potential of history and landscape to generate contemporary architecture. An interest in the craft-based traditions of noble materials has led to a number of building restoration commissions, including several important historic monuments. One cannot build contemporary architecture without having assimilating the lessons of the past.
The quality of Affleck de la Riva’s work has been recognized by numerous international publications (France, England, United States, Spain, China, Romania, South Korea, Turkey, etc.) and invitations to lecture in Europe and across North America. The firm is the recipient of more than a dozen professional distinctions including first prize awards in three open architectural competitions, a Governor General of Canada Award, two Awards of Excellence from the Order of Architects of Quebec, and an Award of Excellence from the Canadian Architect magazine. Gavin Affleck and Richard de la Riva are active members of Canada’s architectural community. They have taught at schools of architecture across the country and contributed to numerous committees and organisations.
We value a critique of territorial space, and an architecture that weaves landscape and history together into culturally rich projects.
The duality between void and mass has guided our approach since the beginning of our practice. Different yet complimentary, these ideas entertain a dialogue between conceptual and concrete ideas.
Based on location, our process contrasts transitional space to object-position. We seek to create contemporary architecture where expression reveals an architectural abstraction anchored in a larger vision of our heritage. The implementation of these ideas advocates for cultural continuity – the project is conceived as an installation in situ revealing the history of the site in its landscape.
We try to reinforce the latent characteristics of the environment – its rhythm, its material texture, its scale and identity. Spaces communicate the energy of a wider territorial landscape – in the end, the building becomes the reflection of a spatial occupation specific to a region.