Ash Street Designed by ABBARCH Architecture Inc.


Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver (HFHGV) builds safe and decent homes, but we couldn’t do it without the help of our community partners like ABBARCH Architecture Inc.  After learning about our Richmond Ash Street project, they jumped on board and offered their design services at no cost to HFHGV. 

“We didn’t have to think about the opportunity too much,“ says David O’Sheehan, a principal of the firm, “one of our suppliers, Ledcor, contacted us to see if we would be interesting in helping Habitat for Humanity. It’s a good project, we like the site.  We’ll see it through to the end, doing whatever it takes to get it there.”

O’Sheehan and his team are now leading the design for the Richmond Ash Street project, working with HFHGV and the City of Richmond to finalize the 6 single-family homes and adjoining rental units.

The firm has supported a number of charities over the years, participating in fundraisers, galas, The BC Ride to Conquer Cancer, downtown east side initiatives, and other local causes.  They love to give back. This time, it’s something a little closer to home.  “We’re excited to get involved by swinging a hammer.  We actually get to help build what we have designed,” said Aaron Urion, an associate working on the project.

But before the staff can help build, Habitat will need the city’s approval on the designs. 

At the initial meeting with the City of Richmond’s planning department, the drawings presented require some adjustments due to the complex issues surrounding zoning and permitting. ABBARCH went back to the drawing board and HFHGV and the ABBARCH team will be presenting their new plans later this month.

Describing themselves as “architects with a modest ego”, they work with a low-key approach focused on getting the job done well.  They’re not hung up on one type of design, but rather, are adaptable and flexible to solve any problems for their client, the municipality, and the end user. 

Their emphasis on quality and high standard practices has not gone unnoticed.  ABBARCH has grown into one of Canada’s leading architectural firms with offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, and Toronto.  Currently celebrating their 35th anniversary, ABBARCH works with some of the biggest businesses in the world: IKEA, Wal-Mart Canada, and The Cadillac Fairview Corporation, to name a few.  

The firm had humble beginnings in the retail sector, starting with two founding partners. It experienced steady growth up until 2000 when a change in partnership was a catalyst for exponentially growth. Today, ABBARCH Architecture Inc, with the leadership of founding partner Michael Burton-Brown, has over 100 staff and is one ofCanada’s highest producing Architecture firms in the country.

We couldn’t be more appreciative of the support and brilliance ABBARCH Architecture Inc. continues to give our Richmond Ash Street Project.  We’re all looking forward to our build days together, commencing later this year.

Learn more about ABBARCH Architecture Inc.

Miranda Thorne