Brendan Sanchez, sole proprietor of Access Architecture, grew up in Vancouver and saw an urgent need to help shape the way that the community was growing. As the decades passed and the city continued to develop, he decided to put his training and vision to work.
Sanchez’s business began its first project in 2018, and since then the company has become a full-service architectural firm with extensive experience in mixed-use, multi-family, commercial and hospitality projects.
“I founded the business because I wanted to create an architectural practice that is outcome-based and balances its design work with a high level of community engagement,” Sanchez said. “Being outcome-based means putting people first and thinking about how we want the built environment to positively impact our daily lives. Before putting pen to paper, it is the project team identifying a set of outcomes the architecture should strive to achieve. Outcomes can range from decreased stress levels in urban housing to faster recovery times in hospital environments.”
Sanchez went on to explain that there is established and emerging research that shows how buildings influence physical and psychological health, and he wants to use his architectural aptitude to create spaces that help build stronger communities.
Currently, Sanchez is the only full-time employee at Access Architecture, but there are two contracted employees and he plans to hire for more full-time positions as workload continues to expand. Revenues are already steadily growing, and he anticipates that they will reach a year-over-year increase of 110 percent.
“We’re at a critical juncture in Vancouver’s history as a city that is beautiful and affordable,” he said. “As people continue to move to Vancouver for these reasons, it’s important to keep values such as inclusiveness, affordability and equity at the forefront of our discussions. I chose Vancouver as the location to start my business because I want to be part of the solution to balancing these issues, and ensuring that the city remains accessible to all.”
What makes Access Architecture stand out is its focus on outcome-based designs and the ability to create designs that bring people together and foster meaningful connections. To do this, Sanchez has worked hard to not only develop strong working relationships with clients, but within the local community as well. He is actively involved with Meals on Wheels and the Volunteer Connection’s Pen Pals Program, sits on the Board of a local nonprofit affordable housing provider, and teaches architectural courses at local elementary schools.
“Access Architecture places a high value on being honest, reliable, proactive and collaborative, which has allowed meaningful relationship to form within the local community,” Sanchez said. “The business displays these values not only through its design work, but also in time spent outside the office.”
Looking ahead, Sanchez said he believes that Access Architecture will continue to flourish as Vancouver continues to develop and he plans to continually fine-tune his services.
“The process is continuously being refined, but by focusing on outcomes and using objective research to substantiate design concepts, we can create built environments that are more intentional in how they serve our community,” he said. “We simply can’t build housing fast enough, so I anticipate mixed-use and multi-family development will remain an integral part of the firm’s work.”