Skip to main content

Architecture Sans Frontières Québec - Canada

201 rue Sainte-Catherine Est, Montréal,
QC, Canada, H2X 1L2
Phone:+(1) 514 868 1767

Chairperson: Christian Samman
Secretary: Marilène Blain-Sabourin
Also known as : ASF-Quebec

Architecture Without Borders Québec (AWBQ)
Architecture sans frontières Québec in French (ASFQ)


Architecture Without Borders Québec (AWBQ) or Architecture sans frontières Québec in French (ASFQ) is an organisation that helps communities that are victims of crises, natural disasters, or social inequalities and works with them to build their capacities through the engagement of various stakeholders in the field of architecture. ASFQ works overseas, partnering with other Canadian international cooperation organizations, and in Quebec, in urban areas and with Indigenous peoples.

Founded in 2007 by the Order of architects of Quebec (OAQ), ASFQ is the official humanitarian arm of the province's architectural profession. It counts among its members some 4,150 architects and promotes social responsibility and involvement in social and humanitarian activities. ASFQ also benefits from the commitment of other trades and partners in the financing and implementation of its programs.

Our mission Build the capacities of communities in need by engaging the architectural sector.
Our vision A world where everyone has access to a quality built environment.

What we stand for 

Rather than a luxury, architecture should be considered as essential for human growth, sustainable developments, and  autonomous communities. It involves rights as basic as housing, health, education, equality and security.  These depend on adequate infrastructure, which requires quality architecture. However, due to various hazards and injustices, most of humanity lives in deficient built environments, and do not have the capacities required to create safe, healthy and ecological living environments. This situation persists as urbanization, migration, and climate change accelerate, further deteriorating the habitat of vulnerable people. This is why a united architecture, of quality and without borders is necessary now more than ever to find the best solutions to the challenges facing humanity.

Our programs 

Our activities are structured into different programs aimed to push the boundaries of architecture. Some of them provide assistance in selected areas in Quebec and internationally. Others mobilize stakeholders in the sector to contribute to their social leadership and increase the impact of our projects

- International cooperation
- Flood resilience
- Native habitat
- Urban solidarity
- Circular economy
- Architectural education
- Volunteering


Our expertise

Architecture is the art of designing buildings and creating spaces that are functional, resistant, comfortable and harmonious. Before any construction, the design process has to be attentive to future occupants and to the solutions best suited to each cultural, geographic and regulatory context. ASFQ offers this expertise to its project partners with support at all stages, from initial definition of needs to delivery, including preliminary studies, sketches and plans. Schools, clinics, community centers or homes, our design practice is human-centered and values its social impact. Well-designed buildings provide pride for communities and promote quality services that change lives.



Our approach seeks to rethink the limits of conventional architecture. We don't serve customers, we serve communities. We cultivate collaboration between our partners, beneficiaries and volunteers. We respond to needs and issues to which the industry offers few answers and resources. Our team thinks outside the box and focuses on solving complex problems. 

In addition to designing buildings and managing projects, research, consultation and innovation are part of the know-how we offer. Often the solutions we promote are not only about construction: we are also involved in training and advocacy through professional development activities and advocacy on issues related to our mission.

As the humanitarian arm of the Order of Architects of Quebec (OAQ), ethics is at the heart of our approach. In addition to our values, the profession’s codes and the Hasselt Charter, some key principles guide the projects we undertake with our partners:

  • Projects relevance and sustainability

  • Stakeholders integrity, efficiency and transparency

  • Inclusion of marginalized people

  • Impartiality, independence and neutrality 

  • Quality and professional liability



Our programs target some of the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, to which any responsible architecture should contribute: fighting poverty, access to health, quality education, decent jobs, gender equality, resilient infrastructure, sustainable cities, reduction of inequalities, responsible consumption, climate action and strong partnerships.

ASFQ thus makes possible each year several projects that change lives in Quebec and internationally. In addition, various awareness-raising activities are organised for our members and supporters that help train a new generation of committed professionals and start the global movement of humanitarian architecture.


Since 2007, ASF-Québec has worked in many types of projects related to floods, earthquakes, education, health and community resilience, both in Canada and abroad. For more details, visit our organization :




Projects initiated by ASF-Quebec :

Outdoor Design of Bâtiment 7
Outdoor Design of Bâtiment 7 in Montreal, Quebec
Design a public space and provide recycled materials
Resilience Montréal
Resilience Montréal
Created a temporary day and well-being centre for homeless Indigenous communities
Ambatofotsy Medical Centre
Ambatofotsy Medical Centre, Madagascar
Designed and built a medical infrastructure

Projects partnered by ASF-Quebec :