Last month, Montreal-based architectural firm Rubin & Rotman Architects announced its new name, its new address and the beginning of a new era for the firm, now known as FIGURR Architects Collective. The new name combines the key architectural term, “figure,” with the partners’ initials. When the firm completes the move to its new home above the famed Parisian Laundry art gallery in the Saint-Henri district of Montreal, it will signal FIGURR’s re-commitment to “the future and to the sustainability of our firm,” says FIGURR co-founder Rick Rubin.
The firm’s rebranding as FIGURR, as well as its new location at the Parisian Laundry, is intended to reflect the firm’s forward thinking nature and collaborative culture. On the new location, partner Bruno Morin says, “We have designed it with respect for its singularity. All of our projects take root in spaces, in history, in communities.”
Another reason for the noted architectural firm’s rebranding is its addition of 3 new partners, Bruno Morin, Pascale Tétrault and Roberto Campos. Rick Rubin and Steven Rotman first met Campos while working with Ottawa-based firm Douglas Cardinal, and the three men formed a strong working relationship. When Campos decided to make a career change, Rick and Steven decided the time was right to hire him during their expansion into Ottawa.
“We realized that to do good architecture, we had to be great collaborators,” Rubin said of the Ottawa expansion. “We change people’s lives,” he says, noting that FIGURR places the same amount of importance on the design of limited-budget projects as they do on full renovations.
Since FIGURR’s expansion, they have been involved in several high-profile projects within Ottawa, including designing a discovery center for Tweed, a Canadian cannabis producer, out of an old Hershey chocolate factory. It was important for Tweed that the design paid homage to the history of the facility, while providing a modern space to provide education about cannabis and its production.
“I think it’s one of Canada’s largest and first reveals of the history and story as well as the opportunities behind newly legalized cannabis” says Rubin. He goes on to explain that FIGURR’s strong emphasis on relationships and adaptability were key to the project’s success. Going toward the future, Rubin feels that FIGURR’s new identity will help cement the sustainability and legacy of the firm, something he believes will last well beyond the original founders.