Planted in the coronary heart of downtown Montreal, Position Ville Marie is a mid-century icon. Created by I.M. Pei and finished in 1962, the professional hub is an emblem of the Worldwide Design. Alongside a 47-storey fiscal tower, an elevated general public plaza is crafted atop underground retail that varieties element of the metropolis’s expansive underground town. As element of an ongoing re-creation of the advanced, layout business and imaginative company Sid Lee have remodeled a previous lender corridor into their very own dynamic new workspace.
Positioned beneath Place Ville Marie’s pedestrian plaza, the 7,300-square-metre business office is a semi-subterranean area that spans a adjust in elevation involving two downtown streets. With an expansive skylight as the only resource of organic illumination, the architects took on the obstacle of building a gentle-crammed, up to date office whilst honouring the plaza’s modernist bones.
To make the most of an unconventional area, the designers opted for a simple yet dynamic layout that draws organic gentle from higher than deep into the multi-amount workspace. Nicknamed the “Biosquare,” a white grid-like composition of staircases —and communal seating — is woven via the coronary heart of the place. Accented by lush greenery, the gentle finishes and open up layout create an ethereal, energetic ambiance in what may possibly in any other case be an enclosed, underground house.
Sid Lee revitalized the inside although preserving much of the current infrastructure. For example, peeling back again the carpet discovered travertine flooring — which was restored to honour the authentic interior. Meanwhile, the skylights ended up likewise stripped and enlarged in buy to brighten the place with as substantially organic lighting as attainable.
Re-interpreted as social areas, the stairs that weave by the place blur the distinction from one amount to the upcoming, fostering a unified ambiance within. The unconventional layout also gives occupants versatility to come across new and ingenious methods to make the most of their environment. With no cubicles or assigned workplaces, Sid Lee personnel can pick out their possess functioning setting — no matter whether which is a regular desk, a more substantial shared desk, a couch or a café table.
To distinction with the vibrant white functioning stations, meeting rooms take on a stark stark black ambiance, building relaxed and immersive environments individual from the communal areas. In lieu of compensating for the lack of home windows in meeting rooms and personal 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 job is an work out in bringing the firm’s “entrepreneurial spirit to downtown Montreal and building an available collaborative hub for the city’s creative and enterprise communities.”
The new workspace also kinds section of a more substantial transformation of Place Ville Marie and its surroundings – all led by Sid Lee. Together 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 though reworking a parking garage entrance into a community staircase and promenade. As a end result of the drastic transformation, the community square has noticed a spike in pedestrian activity, introducing a helpful new vitality to what continues to be a handsome modernist showpiece.