Dive into the intricate tapestry of architectural storytelling with Annabelle Beauchamp, the visionary Design & Brand Director at NEUF architect(e)s. Fresh from triumph at the C2A, she unfolds the compelling narrative behind “Half a Century of Building Storeys.”
– Annabelle spearheaded the award-winning project “Half a Century of Building Storeys,” a retrospective book celebrating NEUF’s 50th anniversary.
– A dynamic team, MARCOM NEUF, collaborated on this monumental 608-page book that delves into NEUF’s diverse projects across the globe.
NEUF architect(e)s, under Annabelle’s guidance, produced an awe-inspiring retrospective book. “Un demi-siècle et toujours NEUF / Half a Century of Building Storeys” showcases 600 pages of bilingual texts, images, and anecdotes, capturing the evolution of the organization alongside Montreal’s built landscape. The book, a blend of history and future visions reflects the firm’s diversity and expertise.
Annabelle Beauchamp: Receiving a C2A Best of Best Award is certainly a culminating point for our anniversary book that took years in the making. It allowed us to take a moment to ponder on this recognition from our peers within a global context.
Annabelle Beauchamp: It is always a rewarding moment to gather your best images and write a narrative about a project you created, especially for a massive object such as our 608-page anniversary book.
Annabelle Beauchamp: The half a century of raw material was very inspiring to us. Digging through original archives, and conducting various interviews of past and present partner architects guided our creative process.
Annabelle Beauchamp: The book created for NEUF’s 50th anniversary, like the firm itself, is both singular and multitudinous—united like the firm’s great family of colleagues and diverse like its areas of expertise. The challenge was to express this duality in words and images while simultaneously retreading the firm’s history, all within an original publication that had to be distinct from a traditional corporate portfolio. The solution lies in dividing projects, concepts, and anecdotes into 23 articles across 6 categories, each of which presents a specific format, tone, and graphical treatment. These articles combine to form a randomized composition, which makes for an unfettered and dynamic reading experience.
The pandemic was undoubtedly the main hurdle by not only dispersing team members but also affecting printing deadlines and causing paper shortages. We overcame these issues by creatively working around inevitable delays and truly appreciating each opportunity to analyze physical proofs and samples of the book.
Annabelle Beauchamp: This communication effort within an architecture practice has a very high value to NEUF since it brings to light expertise in itself. Navigating across various design specialties is fundamental to aiming toward creative excellence for any project, big or small.
Annabelle Beauchamp: The Best of the Best Award certainly celebrates our team’s talent and strengthens our firm’s credibility. It cements NEUF’s long history of publications while setting the bar higher for local architecture and design practices.
Annabelle Beauchamp: C2A helps galvanize the quality of the work and services NEUF offers by providing this international attention.
Annabelle Beauchamp: We were quite delighted to go through the list of the 2023 Best of Best Awards that came from all over the world, from Japan to Guatemala.
Annabelle Beauchamp: Yes, we will certainly try to connect again with the industry through C2A. For our next chapters once they are off the press!
Annabelle Beauchamp: Architectural representation, paramount to NEUF’s practice since its beginning, allows us to deepen our connections and cross-reference our knowledge of the built environment with our clients and colleagues. The use of innovative technology through in-house printed 3D models, BIM, AI, and VR is always fun to display in brochures and presentations. It reveals the complexities of the profession to a wider public with a particular graphic design twist.
Annabelle Beauchamp: More books! NEUF is currently working on hundreds of diverse projects in Canada. By documenting the design process, from the concept stage to post-occupancy, more chapters are being written as we speak.
Annabelle Beauchamp: The initial play of words ’Ceci n’est pas un portfolio’ served as our starting point. We wanted to find our own voice within the tradition of bookmaking in architecture. Striking a balance between imagery and text proportions, between old and new, French and English were key. Research and interviews built up the narrative and determined the final girth of the object.
As Annabelle Beauchamp continues her creative journey, the legacy of “Half a Century of Building Storeys” stands as a testament to NEUF’s rich history and promising future. Join her in exploring the captivating intersection of architecture, history, and innovation. Embrace the alchemy of architectural storytelling, where every page tells a tale of design brilliance and the enduring spirit of NEUF architect(e)s.