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Maxime Vandal & Richard Ouellette, Master builders

Avenue Design

ONE ’S AN ARCHITECT, ONE ’S A DESIGNER, THEIR COMPAN Y COMPARES FAVOURA BLY TO SOME OF THE BEST IN THEIR FIELD. THEIR PARTNERSHIP IN LI FE AND IN BUSINESS IS DRIVEN BY THE DESIRE TO TURN THEIR DREAMS — AND TH OSE OF THEIR PRESTIGIOUS CLIENTS — INTO A LIFESTYLE WITH OUT COMPROMISE.

Les Ensembliers is a unique business model that combines an architecture firm, design agency and construction company. With enormous talent in their DNA, the two owners are out to conquer the North American market, and are already enjoying some well-deserved success.

Maxime was one of the youngest architects to join the profession. Despite difficult economic conditions at the time, he earned a position with a wellknown contractor who was building the American embassy in Ottawa. Later, he took over for his employer in a meeting pertaining to the construction of the unique Manoir estate in Sagard. Maxime soon became construction site manager on that job, at the insistence of his new client, who opened the doors of his many homes to the architect. Maxime was introduced to traditional building crafts and techniques that inspired him to expand his creative horizons.

Richard graduated with a degree in fashion, and learned the many facets of the design field while working as a designer with BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products). Moving on to Orage, he won a Griffe d’Or for a sportswear collection, then chose to grow his expertise by studying environmental design. Upon graduating, he agreed to lend his support to Maxime, who had just opened his own offices in one of the Manoir Sagard garages, for the purpose of organizing an event that proved to be an outstanding success.

The two then began to travel, but when they returned, the economic crisis of 2008 was in full swing, and the party, as they had known it, was over. Undaunted, they bought a home in Westmount and turned it into a luxury showroom, where they hosted cocktail gatherings for potential clients. Necessary sacrifices were made, and project by project, they built a solid reputation based on their coherent, sophisticated vision, which was evident at every stage of the creative process.

Determined to develop their own brand, they convened a meeting last year in New York with the top brass at Kravet. With no TV show, celebrity status, book or other material to defend their potential, they put their cards on the table, telling their story, and explaining their desire to create their own product line—with or without Kravet. After becoming designers at curatedkravet.com, Richard was asked to design the next fabric collection for Brunschwig, a French company founded in the 19th century, and a symbol of the taste and refinement of France. In 2017, his collection of furniture fabrics bearing the Brunschwig name will be distributed worldwide. What’s more, the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club chose Les Ensembliers to design the dressing room for the luxury Manhattan home featured in their 2016 Decorator Show House fundraiser, an event which attracts New York’s high society and widespread media attention.

Such a feather in their cap constitutes the ultimate accolade in a world of very big names. They are clearly master builders—of a very fine brand.

ensembliers.com

Maxime Vandal & Richard Ouellette, Master builders – e-mag