"I am he who conceives what you desire a trifle more exactly than you do yourselves; I shall consume your treasures with a little more consistency and genius than you consume them; and without a doubt I shall cost you dearly; but in the end everyone will have gained. I shall make mistakes sometimes, and we shall have some ruins; but one can always very profitably look upon a work that has failed as a way which brings us nearer to the most beautiful. ... Stones and forces, outlines and masses, lights and shadows, artificial goupings, the illusion of perspective and the realities of gravity, all these are the objects of the commerce of my body and intelligence; and may the profit of this commerce finally be that incorruptible wealth which I name Perfection..."

- from : "Eupalinos, or the Architect", in, Selected Writings of Paul Valéry, pg. 165/182, ed. New Directions Publishing Corp, N.Y.,1964, 13th printing,

"... No sorrow, no distress from any side, no foes, no creatures double-tongued have overcome the man..."

- from, HYMN XXIII. Brahmanaspati, The Rig Veda


ovidio sbrissa & the architect's workshop, inc.





crafting since 1968/ services


  • site acquisition studies
  • feasibility studies
  • zoning requirements
  • facility programming
  • site analysis & copartitioning
  • code requirements
  • architectural composition
  • engineering co-ordination
  • life-cycle costing
  • building envelope studies
  • contract documents
  • specifications
  • tender process assistance
  • inspection & administration

interior architecture

  • programming requirements
  • problem analysis
  • function relationship studies
  • fashion-trend analysis
  • virtual reality modeling
  • colour & finishs selection
  • furnishing planning, selection
  • specifications
  • tender process assistance
  • co-ordination of trades

architectural management

  • programming
  • cost control
  • projects cheduling
  • consultant co-ordination
  • site inspections & administration
  • commissioning
  • construction management
  • facilities management
  • building condition reports
  • code compliance studies
  • energy studies
  • leasing studies
  • financial feasibility
  • due diligence reviews
  • systems commissioning

It is thought that in the multidisciplinary method of "making" or "doing" (t¡ktvn, Plat. Phaedrus 245a),  architecturing is that encompassing influence over "mature ideating" (Alberto Perez-Gomez) which substantiates the protraction of "historical consciousness" (Lawrence Durrell; Paolo Portoghesi) by its elucidating on the "observable" (Paul Strand) juxtapositions of the primary geographical constructs, the "ordinariness and light" (Alison & Peter Smithson), of any "Place" (C. Norberg-Schultz).  Because the doing is "grounded on ethical and qualitative principles pertaining to the aesthetical" (O.F. Bollnow), and being that it contributes to a large extent in determining and "geometricising" (Giordano Bruno) the "artificial conditions of our lives" (Allen Ginsberg), its architecturalizing motives stand antithetical to any commercial commodification regulated solely by quantitative and personal transactional criteria.  Thus, an architectonically inspiring work outlives its ideator, its constructor, its proprietor, its first user:  "motivated to reify public interests, it constitutes the patrimony of each and every community" (Louis Kahn).  Moreover, the tutelage of these public interests, as one of the principal burdens of  professional work, establishes the ethical underpinning of the architector.  Consequently, "architects view doing as the thoughtful making" (Frank C. Carter), the"poeticising" (A.C. Antoniades) of the built environment... "poiein", according to Plato, being not  the premise but rather the ethical necessity of any commitment to artistic doing.

Thoughtful making combines cerebral and physical activity, theory and practice, the core of any discipline
(F. C. Carter).  For our firm the quality of one's ideas and the sensibilities of one's actions are central to the making of better buildings. We hold that a building is first a geometric artifact and, that "by one's encountering and discovering of it" (Jorge Luis Borges) through an inhabitation  which seeks to move beyond the scope of consumption and fashion toward a range of "artistic experience" (Adrian Stokes), it predicates that "personal" psycho-physical speculation and aesthetic implication emoting that human apperceptual (Thomas Monroe) period (transcendental moment (Allan Watts, Mies Van der Rohe)) called, architecture. A building that is both instrument and symbol affined to that " learned, correct, and magnificent game of volumes assembled under light" (LeCorbusier) holds the potential to fulfill our personal bio-socio-cultural adaptations (Yehudi.A. Cohen): one that is limited to supply functional/economic considerations holds little probability of stirring one's soul (Carter/Corbu.).   

Our firm's approach to making buildings involves both the pragmatic and the artistic. Our use of telecommunications, computers, management systems and consultants provide a sound basis for production work but it is the spirit of artistic inquiry, the search for excellence, the teamwork, and the will to build which really energize the work of our office. The ongoing exploration of critical issues currently challenging contemporary architecture fuels much of the debate around projects: the rationalization of the ideal and the real; the transformation of intentions into realization; the role of convention and invention; the reciprocity between monument and fabric, public and private, the individual and the collective; the possibilities in permanence and impermanence, the static and the dynamic; and the challenge of growth and change. Our firm abhors making which leads to disposable and inconsequential objects in favor of thoughtful making which is experiential and leads to tangible ideals, cultural grounding and enduring essence.


why choose us?
"... Because thanks to a SERIOUS, COMPLETE and PERSONALISED service, YOUR ideas can be realized.

Because we have QUALIFIED experience in working for private and public entities both here and abroad.

Because we follow alongside our client from the IDEA through to its REALISATION.

Because we are experienced in both NEW, RENOVATION, RESTORATION, and HISTORICAL RESTORATION work for Private , Civil, Provincial and Federal sectors.

Because the studying and applying of the latest TECHNIQUES and TECHNOLOGIES for ideating and for construction is a continual part of our personal development as artists-in-doing.

Because we are used to working with Project Managers and Public Administrators and therefore know the importance of staying within an allocated BUDGET.

Because with us you have an ARCHITECT who is always there for you, immediately ACCESSABLE, a single reference point from the beginning to end.

Because YOUR project with us will be UNIQUE and UNREPEATABLE.

Because, ..."Architecture, like any living intelligence, is born only from a father and one MOTHER , and for Architecture, the mother is the architect" (Filarete)... , and of course, the FATHER is actually YOU..." (Benny Rocca, Roccatelier)

The Architect's Workshop continually tunes its modus-operandi to fully deploy its Building Information Management methodology in order to professionally craft in a more "enjoyable" manner.

Aware of the widespread avant-garde modality shift that occurred across the building industry in the late 90 ies which predicated "rethinking" within the then contemporary practice of Architecture, so that the latter would respond to three formidable forces of adaptation pressuring the building industry:

    * a business and legal framework that supported the collaborative process;
    * a medium of information exchange which obliterated time/space restrictions;
    * the availability of affordable, advanced, contemporary tools which: allowed the architect to draw and paint and sculpt in a condition of electronic virtuality, therein forming architectural models from various abstract and technical knowledge bases; to auto generate, through extrapolation from those models, information (documents (instruments) of construction) of  significant high quality and astounding accountability...

it incorporated a more effective approach to architectural team-work and professional practice by employing 3D parametric CAD. With 3DpCAD, the drudgery of lifeless two dimensional recording of technical knowledge, the frustration caused by mindless repetitive detailing of minutia of dull instructions, the boredom of activities  associated with the co-ordination of documents and schedules, the guilt of seeing highly intelligent and creative minds wasting away in drafting chores, of precious beings being transformed into draftspersons... all these, were thoroughly eliminated, and so leaft the furtive minds to busy themselves with "focusing": on deeper thought processes and creativity; in the science of building and the art of making; on the poetics of complexity and the ecology of form; on the complex tasks of our holistic enterprise which Architecture is.

Moved by the need to improve the quality of buildings, and to reduce the costs of creating and maintaining them, building owners, architectural teams, contractors, and facility managers developed systems of collaboration and fluid information sharing by implementing Building Lifecycle-Management strategies.   3DpCAD's role in these strategies is its generation of a "virtual model” of a facility through knowledge contributed by each of these participants, and, its easily and seamlessly feeding back data vital to particular categories of interst to them through various "specialized" media (graphical and data-based),all-the-while packaging the whole in the form of a Building Information Model (BIM).

For the architect, beginning in schematic planning, a single, multi-purpose computer model is formed to help make decisions and project their implications; the model is used to record programmatic data, define the building, analyze costs and energy performance, and serve many other kinds of useful purposes. Simultaneously, our Building Information Management methodology organizes the knowledge bases, plugs them into conventional drawings, such as plans and 3D renderings, sections, elevations, schedules, and, automatically structures the layout and management of all items required to complete a set of construction drawings.  In this way, the information needed for communication by and amongst the larger team, for obtaining  permits, and for the myriad of other demands, is always accurately updated at every stage of the decision making and scheduled delivery process, through the use of "a final filter", the 3DpCAD instrument.

Moreover, during the development of the architectural composition and the generation of construction documents, the 3DpCAD model is further refined so that the structure, mechanical systems, and other components are correctly applied to it.  In this way, all of the building elements are precisely co-ordinated and constructional issues are resolved before they can surface as real world costly errors. Ultimately, this one Model provides both the instruments of construction, and a useful visualizing tool to the building team. Throughout the entire process, accurate information is readily available and changeable,  optimized,  communication is clear, noiseless, and timely, and all decisions are more effectively and accurately accounted for.

The Architect's Workshop continues to use the most powerful of the 3DpCaD software presently available as its central 3D parametric Cad component, Revit Architecture, with the Revit Structural and Revit MEP and QTO as engineering and quantity surveying extensions.  3ds Max Design, Lightwave, Combustion,  Poser, and Corel Painter are used as artistic extenders; Architectural Desktop, Autocad, and WiseImage are used to handle legacy CAD files, archived documents and D-base transfers into Revit. Special applications for energy analysis, presentation documents, database management, specifications writing, project management and other purposes are all integrated to achieve effective BIM archive.

The Architect's Workshop's BIM approach, manipulated by brilliant, talented, and seasoned architects utilizing state-of-the-art computer hardware and software, makes this Architectural practice a leader in the use of advanced architectural electronic technology in Ottawa and its surroundings, and as such, that so much more artistically/technically delivery-capable.

Its 27 years of professional experience, moreover, of coordinating information with Operations & Maintenance professionals, Contractors and Fabricators, Building Information Resources, Telecommunications Expertise, Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, Process Engineers, Plumbing Trades, Fire-Protection Consultants, Equipment and Materials Manufacturers, Interior and Exterior Lighting Consultants, Structural Engineers, Landscape Architects, Civil Engineers, Geotechnical Engineers, Surveyors, Hazardous Materials Experts, Building Sciences Experts, Ecologists, Urban Planners, Citizen Groups, Civic Politicians, is what is necessary to effectively drive these contemporary technologies, because without this human, hands-on, accumulated savoir-faire, one has nothing but hollow algorithms fluttering about in multi-core CPUs and GPUs.



      history of practice
      theoretical speculations

Ovidio Sbrissa,B.E.S.,B.Arch,OAA,MRAIC

1119Wellington Street W,Ottawa, K1Y 2Y6 Ontario, Canada
T: (613) 722-7818
©arch'os 1999 on.ca