Chris O'Brien Lifehouse


We Design to Unite People and Elevate the Human Spirit

We design to unite people and elevate the human spirit — and recognize that it's strongest when practiced from within. As a full-service firm that combines architecture, engineering, experience and many other related design services, collaboration is at the heart of what we do. We combine the expertise of various disciplines to approach projects from every angle. This rigorous process balances the needs of the project with the needs of the client — delivering solutions that last longer than style or trend.

This process is supported by our use of design technologies, which manage and translate vast amounts of data into designs that can be tested and manipulated in real time. The advanced tools and activities we employ (along with proprietary modelling and return on investment software) form a robust platform for project design and delivery.

Innovative architecture and design must change us, move us and allow us to become something new. We’re motivated by the curiosity to investigate how that innovation can work across projects, places and people.

Architecture Services

Architectural Design

Through a highly participatory and respectful design process, we create architecture that enriches our day-to-day experiences, that is both proud and humble, stays true to its purpose and creates a sense of place that is meaningful to the society it serves. In our design studios across the globe, a commitment to ever greater design excellence sustains our culture. 


Our specialists in brand strategy, graphic design and communications provide clients with tangible and memorable expressions of their organization’s brand. We begin by identifying the important insights that make an organization unique, and then develop compelling visuals and clear communications that distinguish it from a sea of sameness while fostering a sense of ownership by clients, partners and owners. We work to make sure that all aspects of an organization’s brand identity — its brand promise, logo mark, messaging, online presence, environmental graphics and physical environment — are an extension of its brand values and are used effectively to build business.

Architectural Engineering

Our industry-leading engineers design highly integrated facilities where every aspect is carefully conceived to provide the desired experience within the built environment, perform reliably and efficiently support the anticipated outcomes. By providing well-informed custom design solutions for our clients, our engineers are able to adapt rapidly to the unique challenges of a variety of market sectors and building types. We leverage our past experience through the use of data and predictive analytics to provide resilient solutions and drive design decisions early in the project delivery process. Architectural Engineering

Data-Driven Design

This emerging methodology uses computational design to connect the built environment to predictive analytics and operational design. We combine the art of iterative design and the science of complex analysis with the efficiency of automated workflows. We integrate and optimize formal exploration, high-performance design, planning excellence and technical execution. By connecting our traditional consulting services to the built environment, and leveraging our expertise in design, strategy, research and analytics, we’re able to consistently discover novel designs and deliver highly integrated solutions. Data-Driven Design

Experience Design

Our multidisciplinary team partners with clients to craft meaningful and memorable experiences. Our approach weaves thoughtful user interactions executed across multiple integrated channels with a variety of technological, operational and spatial considerations. We begin by understanding, and often reframing, the problem to go beyond obvious solutions. We use tools like ethnography, the study of analogous industries, journey mapping and rapid prototyping to connect organizations to the broader context of those they serve. We identify opportunities for critical touch points that connect an organization to their customers, both intellectually and emotionally. Our clients include healthcare, manufacturing, real estate and community development, and education businesses.

Infrastructure Design

Our multidisciplinary teams collaborate to design critical civil infrastructure to enable, sustain and enhance communities and commercial services. From new public structures to road and bridge architecture to modernization projects and more, we leverage the latest technologies to create innovative solutions to improve function, long-term value and greater resiliency.


We apply a comprehensive cross-disciplinary design process and studio approach to creating interior environments that support an organization’s mission and elevate the user’s experience. Whether we’re designing a start-up corporate office or a 500-bed acute care facility, we know that the most ambitious goals are achieved by paying attention to the smallest details. Our experienced interior designers balance the increasingly important role of technology with the need to create sustainable, humanistic, and comfortable spaces.

Landscape & Site Design

As a fully integrated design firm, our landscape and site designs are holistically linked to the building envelope and engineering systems. We create spaces that are unique, yet an inextricable part of the whole. We begin with visioning sessions that establish high-level goals for what the design needs to achieve, and then develop a language for spatial quality that responds to user needs. We consider public and private as well as interior and exterior connections that are vital for creating inviting, active sites. We focus on the human dimension of design and strive to elevate the expression of the natural environment as it relates to the entire project context.

Lighting Design

Our lighting specialists understand both the art and science of illumination. They’re at the forefront of emerging technologies and daylighting strategies, oftentimes writing design manuals and standards for our clients. Our lighting designs give form and character to spaces while improving visual performance, supporting visual comfort, and engaging occupants. We work to fully integrate lighting with architecture, creating dynamic and exciting spaces across all building types and environments. Lighting Design

Product Design

Product development stems from a need for something better. We collaborate with manufacturers to develop products to meet the needs required by ever-changing markets, whether it’s the need to work more efficiently with a new caregiver workstation, or the desire to have textiles that not only look good but work well. We explore performance, pattern, function, durability and color to develop a wide range of award-winning products that meet the emerging needs of our clients in a variety of markets.

Signage & Wayfinding

We create visual stories to help orient people properly and simplify the navigation of complex facilities. Relevant information placed in appropriate locations ensures positive experiences free from frustration and stress for all users. We use the elements of shape, color, texture, light and sound to support architecture, interior and site design, ensuring that wayfinding is an intuitive and integral part of the user’s relationship with our clients’ built environments.

IPD Innovation

Integrate Project Delivery Architecture

The Canadian Nuclear Labs "New Builds" project is the largest integrated project delivery project in Canada. Find out how the team is using the delivery model to drive design innovation.