Q. When did you first become interested in architecture?
VS. “When it came time to choose a career in Cegep, I knew nothing about the field of architecture. However, I have always loved learning in general, and I had an aptitude for sciences and a deep interest in art. Architecture was a multi-faceted profession where I had everything to learn. It appealed to me and that’s why I decided to pursue this path.
In addition, I have always been an organized, methodical person who enjoys teamwork. So it was natural for me to go into project management. Complex projects with numerous stakeholders are my favorite projects! What I particularly enjoy is the collaborative side of day-to-day work. “
Q. You were named partner in 2020, what does it mean to you to be part of the future of the company?
VS. ” It’s a nice and pleasant recognition. I joined LemayMichaud as an intern in 1998. Today, I can say that LemayMichaud is part of my DNA. I like our approach, our way of doing things and our projects. ”
Q. You mention the ” Way of doing things “, can you tell us more about it?
VS. I would say that it’s about doing projects that are completely integrated with both architecture and interior design. At LemayMichaud, we place the user at the center of every reflection in the execution of our mandates, whether they are hotels, spas or residential towers, small or large projects, and it is precisely that which speaks to me. We are extremely fortunate to be working in the field of hospitality and wellness. Let’s just say that I couldn’t see myself building prisons,” she says with a laugh before adding, “What makes LemayMichaud so strong is that we seek to develop our clients’ signature and that they understand the added value of our services. Some of our clients have grown along with us and that creates strong, long-lasting relationships. ”
Q. What is your vision of an ideal architecture?
VS. “For me, an ideal architecture is completely integrated, both in its exterior and interior, into its built environment. It must also respond to a program and arouse emotions in its users. When a project demonstrates creativity and deep thinking that reveals its own identity, that is the best version of a project. “
Q. What is your approach to each new mandate?
VS. “I place great importance on listening to the client and his needs. Next, we must analyze the context of the project, its environment, and then quickly bring together the key contributors because each one has a specific expertise to bring to the table, which will help clarify the overall vision and integrate the project as well as possible. My job is to coordinate everyone’s vision and respond to it while respecting LemayMichaud’s identity. “
Q. If you had one piece of advice to give to someone who dreams of becoming an architect?
VS. “I would advise this person to be both curious and patient. It’s a fairly long profession to learn, and as I mentioned above, every project brings its own set of learning experiences. You have to be interested in many things and many aspects. In short, you have to give yourself time! “
Q. What is the most memorable project you have done at LemayMichaud?
VS. “I’ve had the chance to work on a wide variety of mandates, which have influenced the architect I am today, but the most notable project is probably the Google offices in Montreal. This mandate dates back about 12 years, but it has marked me because it offered a different approach to workplaces, it was very avant-garde.
I remember that they were very focused on employee retention and happiness at work. Today, that’s something that’s common, but for that time it was innovative.”
“In fact, it was the first time that high-level managers showed up in jeans, sneakers and t-shirts, it was a very egalitarian atmosphere. ”
“I was impressed because we spoke to a lot of Google-related employees all over the world, whether in Europe or California, but never did we feel like we were in a big corporation, everything was very well coordinated! “
Q. Is there a project you would have liked to be the author of?
VS. “There are two hotel projects that really impress me by their outstanding environment, the beauty of their respective concepts and the refinement they exude. The first one is a hotel designed by the Quebec firm YH2 located in India, the Taj Rishikesh and the second one is the Il Sereno Hotel on the shores of Lake Como in Italy. The project is signed by Patricia Urquiola, a woman who is highly inspiring for her versatility since she does architecture, interior and object design at the same time. “
Q. What would be your dream “project” for the future?
VS. “Definitely developing a hotel project in Europe. There could be worse business trips, right? “
Develop or create? Development
Dreamer or realist? I would say more of an idealist.
Favorite part of your job? I have two! The start of a project when it’s on the table and you’re imagining all the possibilities, and the end of the project, for the satisfaction of the work done.
Black and white or color? Black and white
Mies van der Rohe or Frank Gehrry? Mies van der Rohe for the pureness of his architecture.