Planted in the heart of downtown Montreal, Put Ville Marie is a mid-century icon. Developed by I.M. Pei and completed in 1962, the commercial hub is an emblem of the International Fashion. Together with a 47-storey financial tower, an elevated public plaza is constructed atop underground retail that sorts aspect of the metropolis’s expansive underground town. As portion of an ongoing re-creation of the advanced, style and design agency and imaginative company Sid Lee have remodeled a former financial institution hall into their individual dynamic new workspace.
Situated under Area Ville Marie’s pedestrian plaza, the 7,300-sq.-metre office is a semi-subterranean room that spans a alter in elevation among two downtown streets. With an expansive skylight as the only resource of natural illumination, the architects took on the obstacle of creating a light-loaded, modern day business office while honouring the plaza’s modernist bones.
To make the most of an unconventional house, the designers opted for a simple nonetheless dynamic format that attracts natural light from earlier mentioned 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 heart of the place. Accented by lush greenery, the light-weight finishes and open up structure generate an ethereal, energetic ambiance in what might or else be an enclosed, underground place.
Sid Lee revitalized the interior while preserving a lot of the current infrastructure. For case in point, peeling back the carpet revealed travertine flooring — which was restored to honour the original interior. In the meantime, the skylights had been likewise stripped and enlarged in order to brighten the space with as a lot all-natural lights as achievable.
Re-interpreted as social spaces, the stairs that weave by the area blur the distinction from 1 amount to the next, fostering a unified ambiance inside. The unconventional format also offers occupants versatility to come across new and ingenious techniques to make use of their environment. With no cubicles or assigned offices, Sid Lee workers can opt for their personal operating natural environment — whether or not that’s a conventional desk, a bigger shared desk, a couch or a café desk.
To distinction with the vibrant white performing stations, meeting rooms choose on a stark stark black ambiance, generate a quiet and immersive environment independent from the communal spaces. In lieu of compensating for the lack of home windows in assembly rooms and personal areas — 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 venture is an training in bringing the firm’s “entrepreneurial spirit to downtown Montreal and making an available collaborative hub for the city’s inventive and company communities.”
The new workspace also varieties aspect of a bigger transformation of Put Ville Marie and its surroundings – all led by Sid Lee. Alongside a thorough renovation of the neighbouring Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Resort, the designers have also sensitively re-shaped the plaza that surrounds the workplace, introducing new plant everyday living and greenery while reworking a parking garage entrance into a general public staircase and promenade. As a end result of the drastic transformation, the community square has observed a spike in pedestrian activity, introducing a friendly new vitality to what stays a handsome modernist showpiece.