Saia Barbarese Topouzanov focuses its practice on architecture, urban design, and environmental design. Mario Saia co-founded the firm in 1968, while partners Dino Barbarese and Vladimir Topouzanov joined in 1987 and 1991 respectively. Clear concepts that organize even the most complex projects, convivial environments, the presence of light, and a current architectural vocabulary, all characterize the work of Saia Barbarese Topouzanov architectes.
The firm’s partners and twenty employees — professionals, technicians, project managers, and computer graphics experts — come from many different disciplines. Their talent and wealth of local and international experience enrich a modern architectural approach that embraces both contemporary avant-garde global currents and local built, social, and natural contexts.
The office members work together synergistically as a studio. All of the employees contribute their personal skills through all the stages of a project, from conception and preliminary sketches to working drawings and construction.
This spirit of collaboration extends to the related disciplines called to participate, including consultants and public review groups, as well as the firm’s relationships with the client. This harmonisation of energy and talent aims not only to respect the project’s program, budget, and deadlines, but above all to remain faithful to its guiding spirit and the specific architectural concept developed to bring it to life.
The firm takes care to ensure a high quality convivial environment for the project’s users. This is one of the principles of sustainable development, a theme becoming more and more central to the firm’s work. In 2005, the office, in a joint venture, built the Pavillons Lassonde of the École Polytechnique de Montréal on the campus of the Université de Montréal. These pavilions are the first university teaching buildings in Canada to obtain the LEED Gold Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
Since its foundation, the firm has worked on approximately six hundred projects, touching on all aspects of architecture and urban design: large urban housing projects, for both individual and collective living; institutions for teaching and scientific research as well as healthcare, religious, and commercial ensembles; planning and renovation of office buildings; and project management value analysis.