The University of Calgary’s Environmental Design Faculty inspired Prix de Rome winner Yves Poitras’ interest in big-city strategies.
Yves Poitras graduated from the University of Calgary with a Master of Architecture only two years ago, but already he has big ideas for how to build better cities. Having won the 2015 Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners, he has been investigating how to maximize the vibrancy and efficiency of cities by mixing public and private uses. “I did research into buildings that are designed for a single-user group and looked at the effects,” says Poitras. To develop hybrid typologies with more shared efficiencies, “I’m looking at what opportunities you get when you integrate different uses and mix things properly.”
While Poitras is envisioning the future, he is also focused on immediate real-world solutions. After graduation, he worked on projects including the Edmonton Valley Zoo Children’s Precinct at the Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative (MBAC) in Calgary. This past summer, he moved to London to join AL_A, the architectural office founded by Amanda Levete, where he has worked on competitions for such major buildings as a new Stockholm opera house.
Surprisingly, Poitras fell into architecture almost by accident. After high school, he was more interested in skiing than school, but earned a Bachelor of Science at the University of Alberta to please his parents. A couple of years later, realizing that he liked making furniture, he decided to give architecture a shot. “They were the best three years of my life,” the now-29-year-old says of his time at UCalgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design (EVDS). “It was certainly hard work and stressful, but it was a great program. There was a studio or a stream of work for whatever your interest was.”
Master of Architecture,
University of Calgary, 2015
Bachelor of Science,
University of Alberta, 2010
Winner of the 2015
Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners,
a grant enabling his research into hybrid approaches
to urban development
Working in London at AL_A