Architect Robert Matthews receives GCAO Integrity and Ethics Award

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Ottawa Construction News staff writer

Robert Mathews, from N45 Architecture, has received the General Contractors Association of Ottawa (GCAO)’s annual Integrity and Ethics Award for 2014.

“For those of you who have had the distinct pleasure of working with Robert, (we) know that he is an absolute gentleman who knows the importance of a team and understands how to empower and motivate those around him,” said GCAO chair Josh Laginski.

Matthews, whose current firm results from a recent merger between EMA and Popovic Routhier Architects, received the award at a Rideau Club ceremony on Feb. 26.  Appropriately, the marble used for the award was “extracted from the wall behind the judges’ bench within the Carleton County Court House built in 1870-72,” Laginski said.

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“The architect was Robert Surtees and the contract(or) was John Webster.  His lowest tender of $48,000 was accepted and the cornerstone was laid on Sept. 23, 1870.  The first session of the new courthouse was held in Dec. 1871.”  The historical building is now an arts centre.

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Laginski said Matthews gained extensive experience after graduating in 1973, moving to Ottawa after starting out with a St. John, Nfld., practice.  He worked as chief architect for Teron International Urban Development Corproation on projects in Canada, the U.S., Great Britain, Bermuda and Russia.

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“In 1984, he was invited to join Kohler Dickey Edmundson Architects as an associate, and subsequently in 1987 was appointed as a partner,” Laginski said.  “He formed the partnership of Edmundson Matthews Architects in 1992, and formed EMA Architects in 2005.”

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Matthews has designed projects with construction values of up to $70 million.

He has contributed to several voluntary and public service organizations including membership in the City of Ottawa’s Urban Design Review Committee, past president of the Arthritis Society of Ottawa, and the Canada Japan Society of Ottawa.

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He has donated design services for the Shepherds of Good Hope Millennium Kitchen renovation project, Rogers House, and the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club’s summer camp.

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