Our practice is a think tank that allows our clients and ourselves to decompress and question what we have deemed an acceptable and comfortable ‘way of life’.
BUILDING AS PROCESS RATHER THAN PRODUCT
Clients that hire us are able to reinvent themselves, as their research and our design insight combine to provide answers that result in buildings that are used as instruments of change: Our model inspires and enables clients to promote more environmentally sensitive living by initiating ecological entrepreneurism. Because of the effectiveness of this model we see our clients as a logical extension of our work. Our innovative practices speak for themselves as our clients go on to demonstrate the worthiness of our innovative ideas, communicate this on their websites, and in doing this, solicit additional prospective clients. As a result, our clients become part of the ‘Breathe by Association’ team.
Purpose and Goals:
We anticipate the visions of our residential clients to become more and more relevant to commercial and institutional organizations. The practice’s transformation from Martin Liefhebber Architect Inc. into Breathe Architects enables us to respond to larger scale building programs. Our projects provide evidence of effective alternatives, reinforce clients ambitions, and create a sustainable business model – for our clients, ourselves and the ongoing relevance of architecture.
Our unique approach sets Building Code precedents and enables our clients to express themselves through our product: be it intellectually, spiritually or monetarily. Their enthusiasm, evident on their websites creates clientele for us on a ongoing basis, so sustainability is achieved all around.
Background to the Transformative Model:
We see, as a logical extension, the need to promote more environmental sensitive living on a larger scale. Up until a few years ago the practice has been a Sole Proprietor. By embracing the Integrated Design Process we have further expanded the team and skill set necessary in our manifestation of an ecological practice. This inspires our clients to be more open-minded, accept ecological principles into their lives, and to communicate these to the broader community.
Implementation: As a team - client, builder and architect - we challenge conventions by proving that alternatives are ready for implementation. A good example is ruling of the Ontario Building Code Commission that strawbale constructions, a ’breathing’ wall assembly, is superior to conventional ‘sealed’ construction.
The media by producing hundreds of articles, documentaries and interviews on our projects throughout the years has shown that the way we practice architecture is of relevance to the general public. This serves as a notice that the architectural practice is indeed relevant to a wider audience by addressing environmental concerns.
Cost/ Benefits: In addition to their low annual operation costs, our clients benefit from the health and well-being of living in the dwellings we design. Further, we reduce costs to the community and environment that usually are externalized in conventional cost/benefit considerations, as noted by the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI). We eliminate reliance on fossil fuels, seek to use renewable resources and source manufacturers whose products do not reduce the value of the environment or negatively affect client’s health. We encourage ‘life-cycle’ thinking and like to embody ‘waste’ and ‘recyclable’ products as building materials. Click on the pictures below for more information particular to each project.