Planted in the coronary heart of downtown Montreal, Area Ville Marie is a mid-century icon. Intended by I.M. Pei and concluded in 1962, the business hub is an emblem of the Intercontinental Fashion. Along with a 47-storey financial tower, an elevated general public plaza is built atop underground retail that sorts aspect of the metropolis’s expansive underground town. As portion of an ongoing re-invention of the elaborate, design agency and creative company Sid Lee have reworked a former lender hall into their individual dynamic new workspace.
Situated down below Area Ville Marie’s pedestrian plaza, the 7,300-square-metre office environment is a semi-subterranean area that spans a transform in elevation amongst two downtown streets. With an expansive skylight as the only source of organic illumination, the architects took on the obstacle of building a mild-filled, up to date office whilst honouring the plaza’s modernist bones.
To make the most of an unconventional house, the designers opted for a basic yet dynamic layout that attracts pure gentle from over deep into the multi-stage workspace. Nicknamed the “Biosquare,” a white grid-like framework of staircases —and communal seating — is woven via the heart of the area. Accented by lush greenery, the light finishes and open up format generate an ethereal, energetic ambiance in what could if not be an enclosed, underground area.
Sid Lee revitalized the inside whilst preserving much of the present infrastructure. For example, peeling back again the carpet disclosed travertine flooring — which was restored to honour the unique inside. Meanwhile, the skylights were being likewise stripped and enlarged in buy to brighten the room with as substantially all-natural lights as achievable.
Re-interpreted as social areas, the stairs that weave by way of the house blur the distinction from 1 degree to the upcoming, fostering a unified ambiance in. The unconventional format also provides occupants adaptability to discover new and ingenious techniques to use their environment. With no cubicles or assigned offices, Sid Lee personnel can decide on their possess performing setting — whether that is a standard desk, a larger shared desk, a sofa or a café table.
To distinction with the vibrant white operating stations, conference rooms consider on a stark stark black ambiance, produce a serene and immersive ecosystem different from the communal areas. In lieu of compensating for the deficiency of windows in assembly rooms and personal spaces — including the loos — the designers opted to emphasize the darkness with a luxe, moody ambiance.
As Sid Lee co-founder Philippe Meunier puts it, the undertaking is an exercise in bringing the firm’s “entrepreneurial spirit to downtown Montreal and generating an obtainable collaborative hub for the city’s innovative and enterprise communities.”
The new workspace also forms element of a much larger transformation of Position Ville Marie and its surroundings – all led by Sid Lee. Along with a complete renovation of the neighbouring Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Resort, the designers have also sensitively re-formed the plaza that surrounds the office environment, introducing new plant lifestyle and greenery when transforming a parking garage entrance into a general public staircase and promenade. As a result of the drastic transformation, the general public square has seen a spike in pedestrian action, introducing a welcoming new vitality to what stays a handsome modernist showpiece.