Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence

Research involves: Contribute to defining the attributes, parameters and criteria of recognition of architectural quality to better understand its renewal in contemporary practices in Canada.

Research relevance: Development of qualitative comparative methods and digital infrastructures to document, analyze and disseminate best practices in architecture.

The importance of architectural quality on the development of individuals and communities

Perceptions of quality evolving over time and across cultures, how do we define architectural quality today? To what extent and by what criteria do experts and users perceive the qualities of public buildings? A representative body, large enough and selected by peer juries, to answer these questions: this is the (evolving) set of winners of architectural competitions and awards in Canada from the late 1980s to today.

The work of Jean-Pierre Chupin as part of his Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence questions the ability of public buildings to meet the highest aspirations for quality. Contemporary, environmental, technological, economic, or cultural issues are addressed, in Canada and elsewhere, through the mediation devices of awards of excellence and competitions. These filters make it possible to identify exemplary realizations and to analyze them in a comparative way. In addition to expert judgments, the research aims to better understand how people and communities live and recognize architecture. By making unpublished data on building characteristics, design criteria and the appreciation of qualities available through a system of actors and users, and placing qualitative judgment at the heart of its program, the Chair intends to invite disciplines such as sociology, political science, ethics, etc., to new questions about relationships between people and built environments.


  • 2023-2025 Jean-Pierre Chupin, Carmela Cucuzzella and Bechara Helal sign a research agreement with the Ville de Montréal for the project: “Vivre la qualité au quotidien : Protocole d’enquête et d’évaluation qualitative de la valeur sociale des édifices publics par le recueil d’expériences vécues par les usagers.” Bureau du design. Research agreement. Funding agency: Ville de Montréal ($65,000)
  • 2023-2025 – “Learning to See Architectural Quality: Specifications and Programming for the Public Access Interface of Exemplary Quebec Case Studies,” a new grant from Partenariat Université de Montréal (BRDV + Québec) obtained from the Ministry of Higher Education of Quebec.
  • 2023-2025 – Jean-Pierre Chupin obtains a new research contract with Public Services and Procurement Canada for the future of Ottawa’s Wellington Street and its transformation into a civic space.
  • 2022-2026 – The LEAP laboratory obtains a renewal of a $423,000 FRQSC grant to support research teams. Title: “Potentials of architectural quality: Equity, sustainability and cultural openness”
  • 2022-2027 – Jean-Pierre Chupin leads the $8.6M Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada research partnership, including a $2.5M SSHRC grant. Title: “Quality in Canada’s Built Environment: Roadmaps to Equity, Social Value and Sustainability”
  • 2021-2022 – In first stage of writing, Quality in Canada’s Built Environment Partnership receives $20,000 SSHRC grant. Title: “Quality in Canada’s Built Environment: Seeking Equity, Social Value and Sustainability” 
  • 2020-2022 – Izabel Amaral, Carmela Cucuzzella and Jean-Pierre Chupin awarded SSHRC grant (Insight Development Program). Title: “An Ecology of Wood Cultures in Canada (2003-2020): comparing constructive cultures through awarded architectural designs” obtained with AMARAL, Izabel (Laurentian University) 
  • 2019-2026  Jean-Pierre Chupin is awarded a Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Architecture, Competitions and Mediations of Excellence 
  • 2019-2024 – Jean-Pierre Chupin receives a grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (John R. Evans Leaders Opportunity Fund – Partnerships) for the Atlas of Architectural Excellence in Canada 
  • 2018-2020 – Anne Cormier, Jean-Pierre Chupin and Georges Adamczyk receive a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Insight Development Program for research entitled: Inner-city school architecture as a space for creative research 
  • 2018-2022 – Carmela Cucuzzella, Cynthia Hammond, Jean-Pierre Chupin awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada KNOWLEDGE grant for research entitled: The Eco-Didactic Turn in Art and Design Installations for the Public Realm (1992 – 2017) 
  • 2017-2021 – Jean-Pierre Chupin, Carmela Cucuzzella, David Theodore, Georges Adamczyk – Architectural quality for cultural institutions in Canada: shifting definitions within awards of excellence (INSIGTH research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) 
  • 2016-2020 – The LEAP is awarded a FQRSC grant for  “The architecture project as a cultural device at the critical interfaces of creation, quality, sustainability and urbanity” (Team Operating Grant from the Fonds de Recherche Québec Société Culture)
  • 2012 – Jean-Pierre Chupin is awarded a CFI Leaders Opportunity Fund grant for the optimization of the Canadian Competitions Catalogue (CFI Grant) 
  • 2012 – Jean-Pierre Chupin is awarded a Research Chair at the Université de Montréal: “Research Chair on Contemporary Competitions and Practices in Architecture”