Peter Osborne

Top 40 Under 40 2011

Photography 3Ten/Aaron Pedersen

Age: 32

Job Title: Senior Associate, GEC Architecture

Why He’s Top 40: As Edmonton Design Committee vice-chair and LEED-accredited architect, Osborne champions attractive, sustainable design in the city.

Key To Success: “The ability to work with people and be creative within that process.”

As a Grade 2 student, Peter Osborne liked drawing houses. “I was always interested in buildings and cities in general,” he says. “I remember drawing a house for a school project and presenting it to the class. The teacher asked how much it was and I said $5,000.”

Little has changed since, except now he designs bigger, pricier “houses.” Contracted by Stantec, he was the design lead on Edmonton¬†International Airport’s terminal expansion and the Southgate LRT station. He also helped Stantec design Enterprise Square, which won an Edmonton Urban Design Award of Excellence.

Osborne has had a significant influence on the city’s urban landscape. It’s a role he takes very seriously, realizing the profound effect architecture can have on a city and its residents. “I have two young daughters now,” Osborne says, “and for me there is a consideration of what kind of buildings and cities the next generation is left with, what kind of spaces they get to live in.”

His passion led him to volunteer for various committees and organizations influencing urban development. He is vice-chair of the Edmonton Design Committee, executive director of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada – Alberta chapter and a member of the Alberta Association of Architects and Edmonton on the Edge.

As a LEED-accredited (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) professional who designed the airport terminal expansion to target the third-highest sustainability recognition, he’s also giving his expertise to a City working group reviewing Edmonton’s green building strategy.

One of two people recently hired to head up GEC Architecture‘s new Edmonton office, he aims to foster a collaborative ethic across project teams and cities. “The architect is not a soloist,” he says, “but a conductor in the orchestra.”

In the great symphony of Edmonton urban design, Osborne’s influence has yet to crescendo. “Architecture is a pretty long race. Great architects tend to be older; it’s in the later stages of their careers where they do their best work.

“I think I’ve contributed, but there’s a lot more to come.”

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