Monica Adair wins national young architect award

A New Brunswick architect has been recognized by a national group that represents the profession.

Monica Adair, 37, is the recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada's 2015 Young Architect Award.

It recognizes an architect 40 years or younger for excellence in design, leadership, and service to the profession.

"It really is the second-best thing that's happen to me this year," said Adiar. "The first one is that we had a new baby and this is an incredible follow-up celebration news for that. So I feel extremely humbled and very grateful for getting this recognition."

Adair, the co-founder of Acre Architects in Saint John, has worked in Toronto and New York, but has chosen to base her business in New Brunswick.

​"There are a lot of projects here and very few architects, and the ones that are here are pretty busy. So we want to help make that change," she said.

"If there's something that might not get done, we want to make sure that it happens here. And to realize that we can have an impact to create a New Brunswick that we all aspire to be."

Adair has served on the New Brunswick Arts Board and currently sits on the Saint John Waterfront Development Board.

She has also given lectures and completed a visiting professorship at McGill University.

In choosing Adair, the five-member jury cited the consistent quality of her project work, commitment to her hometown and her work in the arts community. They also recognized her teaching, advocacy, and contribution to regional collaboration in Atlantic Canada.

Adair's colleague, Morgan Lanigan, says what makes her special is the connection to the projects she works on.

"She really understands Saint John and the personality that it has and she delivers that in everything we do here in the office," Lanigan said.

"Everything is focused back on not just creating pretty shiny things, but in fact things that have meaning and have soul and have impact on a community, that are doing more than just being a building, but also trying to elevate a community to another level."

 Lanigan says Adair's win shows Saint John's potential.

"We can be leaders. We can be the very best in Canada. That's really great for Saint John. It puts us on the map and shows that we can really compete with the rest of them."

The award will be presented during the RAIC ​Festival of Architecture in Calgary, June 3-6.

The RAIC is a voluntary national association, representing 4,800 members.