Planted in the coronary heart of downtown Montreal, Put Ville Marie is a mid-century icon. Designed by I.M. Pei and finished in 1962, the commercial hub is an emblem of the Intercontinental Style. Alongside a 47-storey economical tower, an elevated general public plaza is developed atop underground retail that types element of the metropolis’s expansive underground city. As portion of an ongoing re-creation of the complicated, style and design organization and creative agency Sid Lee have reworked a former financial institution hall into their individual dynamic new workspace.
Situated under Place Ville Marie’s pedestrian plaza, the 7,300-sq.-metre office environment is a semi-subterranean room that spans a modify in elevation among two downtown streets. With an expansive skylight as the only source of all-natural illumination, the architects took on the challenge of building a mild-stuffed, modern business office when honouring the plaza’s modernist bones.
To make the most of an unconventional room, the designers opted for a basic nonetheless dynamic format that draws all-natural light-weight from higher than deep into the multi-amount workspace. Nicknamed the “Biosquare,” a white grid-like structure of staircases —and communal seating — is woven by way of the coronary heart of the area. Accented by lush greenery, the gentle finishes and open up structure make an ethereal, energetic ambiance in what might otherwise be an enclosed, underground area.
Sid Lee revitalized the inside when preserving a great deal of the current infrastructure. For illustration, peeling back the carpet uncovered travertine flooring — which was restored to honour the authentic inside. Meanwhile, the skylights were likewise stripped and enlarged in purchase to brighten the area with as considerably all-natural lights as achievable.
Re-interpreted as social spaces, the stairs that weave by means of the area blur the distinction from 1 degree to the next, fostering a unified ambiance inside. The unconventional format also offers occupants versatility to uncover new and ingenious means to use their surroundings. With no cubicles or assigned workplaces, Sid Lee personnel can decide on their possess functioning natural environment — whether or not that is a classic desk, a bigger shared desk, a sofa or a café table.
To distinction with the dazzling white doing work stations, conference rooms choose on a stark stark black ambiance, make a quiet and immersive setting individual from the communal areas. In lieu of compensating for the lack of windows in conference rooms and non-public 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 task is an workout in bringing the firm’s “entrepreneurial spirit to downtown Montreal and making an obtainable collaborative hub for the city’s creative and business enterprise communities.”
The new workspace also varieties section of a much larger transformation of Position Ville Marie and its surroundings – all led by Sid Lee. Along with a thorough renovation of the neighbouring Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Resort, the designers have also sensitively re-shaped the plaza that surrounds the place of work, introducing new plant lifestyle and greenery even though transforming a parking garage entrance into a general public staircase and promenade. As a final result of the drastic transformation, the community square has witnessed a spike in pedestrian action, introducing a welcoming new vitality to what stays a handsome modernist showpiece.