Announcements July 28, 2022

Congratulations to our colleagues in our Vancouver and Calgary studios

We congratulate the following leaders on their promotion in our Vancouver and Calgary studios. Advancement in the firm’s Leadership Program requires outstanding achievement in influence and accountability, design excellence, innovation and expertise, business acumen, client relationships, entrepreneurial and strategic thinking, and collaboration. In celebration of their success, we highlight the unique attributes they bring to our studios through the lens their colleagues.
Promotion to Principal

Yehia Madkour, Director of Innovation

Co-chair of the Firmwide Research Board, Yehia brings enormous energy and engagement to our studio with his forward-thinking drive to advance our design, research, and digital practice. Regardless of scale, Yehia champions innovation in every project and has an innate ability to motivate clients and teams, pushing the boundaries of conventional practice. Recently awarded a BD+C 40 Under 40 award, Yehia’s influence is recognized within our studio and beyond—to our global firm and the wider industry.

“Yehia is a gifted aesthete, a restless researcher, an avid technologist, and an entrepreneur—all at the same time. On top of this, Yehia’s superpower is his ability to communicate with precision and poetry.” Phil Harrison, Principal, Chief Executive Officer

Read more about Yehia.

Promotion to Associate Principal

Brent Welty, Operations Director

The Operations Director for the Vancouver and Calgary studios, Brent has been an invaluable asset to our firm for decades, and, more recently, he has been key to growing our Calgary studio. As an architect, he helped build the firm’s reputation for design excellence, sustainability, and innovation. In his current role, he focuses on streamlining the operational processes that enable our success at all levels.

“A consummate professional, Brent is thoughtful, empathetic, thorough, and looks through multiple lenses to solve complex problems. We are lucky to have him—and his sense of humour—at the helm of our studios.” Lynn McIlwee, Senior Associate, Talent Manager

Read more about Brent.

Promotion to Associate Principal

Rufina Wu, Director of Small Projects

Leading our small projects practice, Rufina is an exceptional designer whose curiosity and fresh approach leads to highly creative and successful projects. With the end user in mind, Rufina continually challenges our teams to create spaces that are tailored and responsive. Her collaborative style and ability to influence has established her as a key leader and mentor, ensuring our studio is successful in its mission to achieve design excellence.

“Few people delight in the process and ultimate product of our design investigations as Rufina does. With endless creative energy, she focuses our design efforts on improving the everyday experience of those who inhabit the spaces we imagine.” David Dove, Principal

Read more about Rufina.

Promotion to Senior Associate

Kaz Bremner

A natural communicator, Kaz has an innate ability to think strategically and position our clients and their projects for success. He is exceptional at distilling complex challenges into elegant design solutions, from the Hudson’s Bay Company redevelopment in Vancouver that transforms an iconic downtown landmark, to the UVIC Student Housing and Dining project—one of the largest projects in Canada designed to achieve the Passive House standard.

“Kaz’s strength is seeing the big picture, understanding the complexities of the journey, and strategically leading clients through the complex process of realizing their goals. This unique skillset, combined with his warm and personable nature, is the hallmark of his leadership.” Susan Gushe, Principal, Managing Director

Read more about Kaz.

Promotion to Senior Associate

Marc Häberli

Leading the growth of our Calgary studio, Marc is passionate about how the city develops. An influential voice in any discussion, Marc leads a wide range of strategic marketing efforts, while fostering strong client relationships and supporting the growth of a dynamic studio culture. Adept at leading projects across our studios, Marc is a skilled collaborator, who actively engages team members, supporting their professional growth and development.

“Marc is exceptional at whatever he sets his mind to. With an eye to the future, he rethinks the status quo with our projects, providing well-researched solutions, and continually demonstrates that we can create buildings with a positive impact.” Brent Welty, Associate Principal, Operations Director

Read more about Marc.

Joins as Senior Associate

Andrew Larigakis

Joining our team in January 2022, Andrew has seamlessly stepped into the key role of Technical Design Lead. Working across various projects and leveraging his depth of knowledge and skills in delivering award-winning design, he elevates our technical design excellence while providing mentorship to teams and ensuring our execution reaches the highest standards.

“Originally joining our studio in 1989, Andrew returns to us after leading his own architectural studio for many years. His familiarity with our goals and aspirations, and deep expertise in design delivery, has resulted in an impactful reengagement where he has already made strong contributions to our studios and our projects.” Susan Gushe, Principal, Managing Director

Promotion to Senior Associate

Lynn McIlwee

With strong interpersonal skills, Lynn is a valued and trusted member of our leadership team. Highly respected, her wealth of experience and creativity have a positive impact on our people and culture. Lynn actively champions our Service+ volunteer programme and Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (J.E.D.I) initiatives, which focus on educating our people while celebrating the diverse voices within our studios. Her efforts ensure that we have a diverse and equitable workplace.

“Lynn is an exceptional leader and a multifaceted colleague, who brings an ideal approach that balances superb analytical business acumen with empathetic and creative thinking to the talent experience of our studios, making our firm the employer of choice!” Meg Brown, Principal, Chief Talent Officer

Promotion to Associate

Cheney Chen

Cheney is a leader in building performance and computational analysis, bringing value to our projects, studios, and clients. Rigorous and thorough, his expert engineering skills touch all project types, from interior and urban design to adaptive reuse and new construction. Leading by example, Cheney inspires others to be curious and innovative, and his technical expertise is sought after throughout our global firm.

“A critical translator between our architectural and mechanical, electrical, and energy modeling teams, Cheney is a trusted knowledge leader and problem solver. He works alongside our teams to fully understand the building performance metrics of our designs.” ​ Kathy Wardle, Principal, Director of Sustainability

Promotion to Associate

Cillian Collins

An expert in Passive House and sustainability, Cillian has exerted significant influence across the studio, firm, and industry through his work, advocacy, speaking engagements, and in his role as Chair of the Passive House Canada Education committee. ​His research efforts continually propel our studios’ innovation, and his contributions extend to firmwide initiatives, including the Energy Lab, Living Design, and Design Space Construction.​

“Patient and accessible, Cillian has a passion for details. His leadership and mentorship on Passive House and other sustainable endeavours make Cillian an asset to our work, our studios, and the education of many—for that we are all grateful.” Ryan Bragg, Principal

Promotion to Associate

Alex Buss

Alex’s exceptional design talents are equally matched with exacting technical skills, helping raise the bar for design in our studio. Leading projects and teams with a calm demeanor and confidence, he is a trusted steward of high-profile, complex projects that focus on our core values of design excellence, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship.

“Alex is the epitome of the ‘well-rounded architect’, a defining character of our studio and design culture. With Alex, you know that challenges will be met, and expectations exceeded.” Adrian Watson, Principal, Design Director

Promotion to Associate

Minsu Kim

A leader in design excellence and a trusted mentor, Minsu’s ability to create beautiful and meaningful design motivates and inspires teams and clients. Drawing from extensive international experience across a wide range of sectors, Minsu is known for working collaboratively to deliver exceptional design. His projects create memorable spaces and transform the communities they serve.

“Minsu is a rare example who proves that design talent and confidence, when reinforced with empathy and team building, makes our work and studio stronger.” Adrian Watson, Principal, Design Director

Promotion to Associate

Daisy Lei

A strong presence and influence in our studio, Daisy is a talented designer who turns design challenges into opportunities, creating elegant solutions. Calm and personable, she is impactful through her daily work and has an innate ability to mentor others. When faced with challenges, Daisy is a strategic thinker who is able to guide teams and clients to successful resolutions.

“Daisy is known by everyone as a truly incredible collaborator and mentor. She has a keen design sense and a clarity of execution that inspires her teams. Through it all, Daisy always makes it look easy.” Alysia Baldwin, Associate

Promotion to Associate

Mike Murray

Fundamental to the success of the Calgary studio, Mike has contributed to building connectivity between our studios when delivering large, complex projects. Managing one of our studios’ largest projects, Mike balances client service with the demands of leading an integrated team. Through his work, he takes initiative, understands the big picture, and guides the design and delivery process, all while effectively mentoring his teammates.

“Mike is adept at cultivating a strong organizational and studio culture and has an uncanny ability to put a smile on your face. There is a warmth and lightness to his character that make him a delight to work alongside.” Marc Häberli, Senior Associate

Read more about Mike.

Promotion to Associate

Victor Okhoya

Influencing how we utilize computational design and data science methods to produce high performance projects, Victor works across studios to translate generative design, performance simulation, and data analysis into practical workflows. As co-director of the Process Lab and initiator of research engagements throughout the firm, he enables us to deliver design differently and be computationally innovative.

“Victor’s expertise lies in his understanding of advanced data science methods and their application to our specific architectural problems. He is keeping our firm computationally innovative with a purpose of improving our design insight and performance.” John Haymaker, Director of Research