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Annabelle Beauchamp: Illuminating Architectural Narratives

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.”

Fun Facts:

– 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.

About the Project: “Half a Century of Building Storeys”

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.

Exclusive Interview with Annabelle Beauchamp

1. Fresh from your recent win at the C2A Awards, can you share how the recognition has already influenced your perspective on your creative journey or business endeavors?

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.

2. Let’s rewind to your journey through the submission and evaluation process for the C2A Awards. What were the standout moments, challenges, or surprises you encountered?

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.

3. Creativity is a mystic force. What fuels your imagination, and how do you approach the creative process?

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.

Cover image of "Half a Century of Building Storeys"

4.Navigating the twists and turns of a creative career often involves overcoming obstacles. What are some of the recent challenges you’ve faced, and how have you tackled them?

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.

5. The ink on your C2A victory is still fresh. In what ways do you anticipate the award impacting your credibility and reputation in the creative industry, and how do you envision leveraging this recognition as you move forward?

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.

6. Networking and collaboration are integral to growth. Have you already seen opportunities or partnerships emerge as a result of your C2A win, and how do you foresee these connections shaping your future in the industry?

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.

7. Immediate effects aside, do you foresee winning the C2A Award influencing the demand for your services or products in the near future?

Annabelle Beauchamp: C2A helps galvanize the quality of the work and services NEUF offers by providing this international attention.

8. As a recent C2A Award winner, what aspects of the experience have you found most valuable, and would you encourage others in the creative industry to consider participating?

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.

9. Looking ahead, do you see yourself applying for the next edition of the C2A Awards, and what aspects of the competition would motivate you to participate again?

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!

Pages revealing different aspects of "Half a Century of Building Storeys."

10. Staying current is an ongoing challenge. How do you currently keep abreast of new industry trends, and are there any emerging trends you’re excited to incorporate into your work?

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.

11. Future gazing: what plans and aspirations are on the horizon for you, and how do you anticipate your creative journey evolving over time?

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.

12. Zooming in on your recent triumph, what inspired the winning project you submitted to the C2A Awards?

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.

Stacked books representing "Half a Century of Building Storeys."

Architectural Alchemy: Annabelle Beauchamp’s Ongoing Odyssey

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.


More about Annabelle Beauchamp and the Project:

C2A – Annabelle Beauchamp (NEUF architect(e)s) – Best of Best in Limited Edition Books / Books

More about NEUF architect(e)s:

NEUF architect(e)s Website

Other C2A Winners:

Winners Gallery