Planted in the heart of downtown Montreal, Place Ville Marie is a mid-century icon. Intended by I.M. Pei and completed in 1962, the commercial hub is an emblem of the International Design and style. Alongside a 47-storey financial tower, an elevated general public plaza is crafted atop underground retail that kinds aspect of the metropolis’s expansive underground city. As portion of an ongoing re-invention of the complex, design and style company and resourceful agency Sid Lee have remodeled a former financial institution corridor into their individual dynamic new workspace.
Located below Spot Ville Marie’s pedestrian plaza, the 7,300-sq.-metre place of work is a semi-subterranean space that spans a modify in elevation between two downtown streets. With an expansive skylight as the only resource of natural illumination, the architects took on the obstacle of producing a light-weight-stuffed, up to date business office although honouring the plaza’s modernist bones.
To make the most of an unconventional space, the designers opted for a basic but dynamic layout that attracts organic gentle from above deep into the multi-stage workspace. Nicknamed the “Biosquare,” a white grid-like composition of staircases —and communal seating — is woven by the heart of the place. Accented by lush greenery, the gentle finishes and open structure build an ethereal, energetic ambiance in what could otherwise be an enclosed, underground house.
Sid Lee revitalized the inside though preserving significantly of the current infrastructure. For example, peeling back the carpet disclosed travertine flooring — which was restored to honour the primary inside. In the meantime, the skylights were being equally stripped and enlarged in buy to brighten the space with as substantially pure lights as attainable.
Re-interpreted as social areas, the stairs that weave as a result of the place blur the difference from a person amount to the next, fostering a unified ambiance within just. The unconventional layout also gives occupants versatility to uncover new and ingenious approaches to benefit from their surroundings. With no cubicles or assigned workplaces, Sid Lee workforce can choose their personal performing ecosystem — irrespective of whether which is a classic desk, a more substantial shared table, a sofa or a café table.
To distinction with the bright white doing the job stations, conference rooms choose on a stark stark black ambiance, generate a serene and immersive setting individual from the communal spaces. In lieu of compensating for the absence of windows in assembly rooms and private spaces — including the bogs — the designers opted to emphasize the darkness with a luxe, moody ambiance.
As Sid Lee co-founder Philippe Meunier places it, the venture is an work out in bringing the firm’s “entrepreneurial spirit to downtown Montreal and producing an available collaborative hub for the city’s imaginative and business enterprise communities.”
The new workspace also types element of a larger transformation of Put Ville Marie and its environment – all led by Sid Lee. Together with a thorough renovation of the neighbouring Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Resort, the designers have also sensitively re-shaped the plaza that surrounds the business, introducing new plant existence and greenery although reworking a parking garage entrance into a general public staircase and promenade. As a consequence of the drastic transformation, the community sq. has seen a spike in pedestrian exercise, introducing a friendly new vitality to what continues to be a handsome modernist showpiece.