Job Special: Architect Owen Alexander Rose: Big-time eco-sensuality

Big-time eco-sensuality

Rose: Making Montreal greener one building at a time

Architect Owen Alexander Rose makes sustainable design a priority

"I first came to Quebec in 1991 to do a French immersion program in Chicoutimi. Then, after doing an exchange in Belgium, where my three best friends were Quebecers, and finishing my degree at the University of British Columbia, I decided to come to Montreal to study architecture, with the idea in mind of moving here," remembers Owen Alexander Rose, who completed a master’s degree in architecture at McGill University in 2001.

As stated on his website, "Architects are the moderators between the objective world of building and the poetic world of living." It’s a motto that Rose always keeps in mind in his domain of work. "I thought to myself, ‘Architecture’s great, but there has to be more than that,’" says Rose. "I sort of owe it to my family’s education, out of respect to what I learned."

And so he also managed to become a professional that’s accredited by LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), and now pursues a career in sustainable design while exploring the "eco-sensual" side of things. "It’s a way to combine the senses, the importance of pleasure with the sustainability. What we do is to propose a combination of pleasure-celebration with clean, healthy, bright and beautiful ecological and sustainable building design. I use the term ‘eco-sensual’ in my mind but I never use it with clients, because sometimes it can scare people away! It’s a philosophy for me, but I translate it in objective terms for clients."

While contributing to the integration of green roofs in Montreal, he has also helped to make great ecological progress with the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre. Co-founder of the Atelier TauTem, which contributes to creating beautiful, ecological constructions and connections between engineering, construction and sustainable development, Rose is a member of the Mont-Royal Avenue Verte committee and a board member of the Regional Environmental Council of Montreal as well.

"When you think about it, all those committees and organizations are interlinked," says Rose. "When you do sustainable design, you have to be aware of [everything and everyone]. I started with Mont-Royal Avenue Verte and, soon enough, I realized that everything was more and more related. In the end, we want to design community buildings."

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