Architecture firm makes Garden City home


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This article was published 07/05/2018 (1668 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.


Garden City homes are some of our city’s best examples of mid-20th century architecture. 

Garden City homes are some of our city’s best examples of mid-20th-century architecture. 


Photo by Daniel Guenther Joseph Orobia, Grant Labossiere and Paulo Castillo are the principals of Garden City firm Architects at Play.

Now, more than 60 years later, the neighbourhood is the birthplace of the new architectural firm Architects at Play, the brainchild of local residents Paulo Castillo, Grant Labossiere and Joseph Orobia, which opened in Castillo’s home this past March. 

Castillo, Labossiere and Orobia met during their studies at the University of Manitoba, became good friends and stayed in touch even after graduation and throughout their respective time working at some of Winnipeg’s top architectural firms. 

This past winter, they decided to band together and boldly step away from secure jobs to build a new type of architectural business for the Winnipeg market. Their goal is to incorporate their shared passions for, quality, functionality and taking a client-centred approach to all their designs. 

The name Architects at Play comes from the trio’s inspiration for their own creativity while growing up and from their children’s creativity while playing. Taking that sense of youthful energy and bringing it to their firm was essential to their vision. 

“From the very start, our idea was to create a new approach to architecture that could set us apart from larger firms, and have our business grow into a place where we can foster creativity and nourish our talents,” says Castillo. 

The group builds upon the basic idea of a child’s playtime by collectively setting aside a few hours every week for what they dub ‘Feel Good Fridays’. The trio use this time to volunteer in the community, connect with other small businesses or just find a new way to recharge their creativity levels. 

Castillo says that “we stay focused on channelling our design talents to the satisfaction of the client, which is a win-win for everyone.”

All three boast an impressive list of projects but Labossiere says he will never forget the first time he walked into something he had designed. 

“Feeling the excitement of seeing my own creativity in a physical form and knowing that I had accomplished something completely unique is what has pushed me to keep learning and advancing,” he said.

 As with all new adventures, there will be challenges. However, Orobia says the firm’s approach is what sets it apart and keeps clients coming back. 

“Every time we are faced with a new challenge, we choose to view it as the perfect opportunity to find a unique solution rather than viewing it as a setback or a negative,” he said.

 The firm already has already completed projects such as the recent expansion of the Japanese Cultural Association headquarters on McPhillips Street. The team worked hard to incorporate classic Japanese elements into a fresh and modern design. The result: a bold building that turns heads on an otherwise bleak stretch of roadway. Another project closer to home has been its work designing office space at Northgate Mall. 

In a neighbourhood that is prized for its quality architecture, it is fitting that Garden City is home to this exciting new architectural company. 

Architects at Play can be contacted by emailing or visiting its Facebook page at


Daniel Guenther is president of the Garden City Residents’ Association and a community correspondent for his neighbourhood. Email him at: 

Daniel Guenther

Daniel Guenther
Garden City community correspondent

Daniel Guenther is president of the Garden City Residents’ Association and a community correspondent for his neighbourhood. Email him at:

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