KMBR — Designing for Human Potential

For over 60 years, KMBR Architects has been a leader in designing spaces that promote learning, connection, and collaboration.

For Kate Lemon, one of KMBR’s Principals, a career in architecture was always her goal. Growing up in Saskatchewan in a passive solar energy efficient home built by her parents, she knew design was in her future. After moving to Vancouver for school, Kate eventually made her way to KMBR. She was drawn to the company as it gave her the opportunity to work on designing schools and institutional spaces, places that students or community members will use and love for many decades to come. Flash forward to 2023 and Kate is now a 4th generation partner of KMBR.

KMBR was established in Dawson Creek in 1958. After early success, the company began opening offices across BC and into Yukon, quickly developing a reputation as a leader in creating innovative and sustainable spaces. Now located in Gastown at 152 West Hastings, the company engages in projects throughout the province and into the Yukon, Alberta and as far away as the Maritimes.

If you have driven around Vancouver, you have likely seen one of the schools KMBR has designed. They have an impressive history in developing schools, including the first concrete tilt-up school designed and constructed in Canada (1995) and designing the first LEED® certified school in BC (2004).

The KMBR team values collaboration and have designed their Gastown office space to promote teamwork, movement, and communication. The open concept office layout allows for people to move around and work close by their team. Tables and stools between workstations allow for quick impromptu discussions and collaborative sessions between staff.  Sit-stand desks, ergonomic chairs and a variety of soft seating options are found throughout the space to provide choice and comfort for staff.  Office spaces may turn into material sample storage or meeting rooms and then back into an office depending on team size and the projects on the go.

Their office design embraces the key heritage details of the 1910-constructed building they occupy. The original brick, the heavy timber columns, and creaky wood floors are all elements that have been thoughtfully maintained and complemented with a clean, modern design.

The KMBR team loves working in Gastown – since they moved here 5 years ago, they have enjoyed all the amazing coffee shops, eateries, and access to public transit.

For more information about KMBR and their projects check out their website: