Planted in the coronary heart of downtown Montreal, Location Ville Marie is a mid-century icon. Built by I.M. Pei and completed in 1962, the professional hub is an emblem of the Global Style. Alongside a 47-storey fiscal tower, an elevated general public plaza is designed atop underground retail that sorts portion of the metropolis’s expansive underground metropolis. As part of an ongoing re-creation of the complicated, style business and innovative company Sid Lee have remodeled a former bank corridor into their have dynamic new workspace.
Located under Place Ville Marie’s pedestrian plaza, the 7,300-square-metre office is a semi-subterranean house that spans a change in elevation concerning two downtown streets. With an expansive skylight as the only supply of natural illumination, the architects took on the problem of creating a gentle-filled, modern day place of work when honouring the plaza’s modernist bones.
To make the most of an unconventional place, the designers opted for a basic nevertheless dynamic structure that draws organic light from over deep into the multi-degree workspace. Nicknamed the “Biosquare,” a white grid-like framework of staircases —and communal seating — is woven through the heart of the house. Accented by lush greenery, the light finishes and open format make an airy, energetic ambiance in what could possibly normally be an enclosed, underground area.
Sid Lee revitalized the interior although preserving substantially of the current infrastructure. For case in point, peeling back the carpet unveiled travertine flooring — which was restored to honour the primary interior. In the meantime, the skylights were similarly stripped and enlarged in buy to brighten the area with as much pure lights as doable.
Re-interpreted as social spaces, the stairs that weave via the place blur the difference from one particular amount to the following, fostering a unified ambiance in just. The unconventional layout also gives occupants overall flexibility to obtain new and ingenious approaches to employ their environment. With no cubicles or assigned workplaces, Sid Lee workforce can decide on their personal functioning natural environment — regardless of whether that’s a classic desk, a larger shared table, a couch or a café table.
To distinction with the dazzling white working stations, meeting rooms take on a stark stark black ambiance, developing tranquil and immersive environments individual from the communal areas. In lieu of compensating for the absence of windows in assembly rooms and non-public areas — including the loos — the designers opted to emphasize the darkness with a luxe, moody ambiance.
As Sid Lee co-founder Philippe Meunier places it, the undertaking is an physical exercise in bringing the firm’s “entrepreneurial spirit to downtown Montreal and creating an available collaborative hub for the city’s inventive and business communities.”
The new workspace also sorts element of a bigger transformation of Spot Ville Marie and its environment – all led by Sid Lee. Along with a complete renovation of the neighbouring Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Lodge, the designers have also sensitively re-shaped the plaza that surrounds the workplace, introducing new plant lifestyle and greenery while transforming a parking garage entrance into a public staircase and promenade. As a final result of the drastic transformation, the community sq. has witnessed a spike in pedestrian action, introducing a friendly new vitality to what remains a handsome modernist showpiece.