Planted in the heart of downtown Montreal, Location Ville Marie is a mid-century icon. Created by I.M. Pei and concluded in 1962, the commercial hub is an emblem of the Global Design and style. Along with a 47-storey economic tower, an elevated general public plaza is built atop underground retail that sorts portion of the metropolis’s expansive underground city. As section of an ongoing re-invention of the advanced, design firm and imaginative agency Sid Lee have remodeled a previous bank corridor into their individual dynamic new workspace.
Situated under Put Ville Marie’s pedestrian plaza, the 7,300-sq.-metre business is a semi-subterranean place that spans a modify in elevation amongst two downtown streets. With an expansive skylight as the only supply of natural illumination, the architects took on the obstacle of producing a mild-crammed, present-day business even though honouring the plaza’s modernist bones.
To make the most of an unconventional room, the designers opted for a straightforward yet dynamic format that attracts purely natural light-weight from over deep into the multi-level workspace. Nicknamed the “Biosquare,” a white grid-like construction of staircases —and communal seating — is woven by way of the heart of the place. Accented by lush greenery, the light finishes and open format build an airy, energetic ambiance in what may well otherwise be an enclosed, underground place.
Sid Lee revitalized the inside while preserving significantly of the existing infrastructure. For instance, peeling again the carpet discovered travertine flooring — which was restored to honour the original interior. In the meantime, the skylights had been similarly stripped and enlarged in purchase to brighten the area with as substantially normal lighting as achievable.
Re-interpreted as social areas, the stairs that weave by means of the space blur the distinction from one particular degree to the subsequent, fostering a unified ambiance inside. The unconventional format also presents occupants flexibility to locate new and ingenious ways to utilize their environment. With no cubicles or assigned places of work, Sid Lee staff members can select their individual performing atmosphere — no matter if that is a conventional desk, a more substantial shared desk, a sofa or a café table.
To contrast with the bright white functioning stations, meeting rooms take on a stark stark black ambiance, producing calm and immersive environments individual from the communal spaces. In lieu of compensating for the absence of windows in conference rooms and private areas — including the bogs — the designers opted to emphasize the darkness with a luxe, moody ambiance.
As Sid Lee co-founder Philippe Meunier puts it, the venture is an exercising in bringing the firm’s “entrepreneurial spirit to downtown Montreal and creating an available collaborative hub for the city’s inventive and enterprise communities.”
The new workspace also forms portion of a larger sized transformation of Put Ville Marie and its surroundings – all led by Sid Lee. Together with a extensive renovation of the neighbouring Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, the designers have also sensitively re-shaped the plaza that surrounds the place of work, introducing new plant daily life and greenery although reworking a parking garage entrance into a community staircase and promenade. As a outcome of the drastic transformation, the general public sq. has witnessed a spike in pedestrian exercise, introducing a helpful new vitality to what stays a handsome modernist showpiece.