February 4, 2023

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Sid Lee Transforms Montreal’s Place Ville Marie – Azure Magazine

Planted in the coronary heart of downtown Montreal, Position Ville Marie is a mid-century icon. Created by I.M. Pei and completed in 1962, the business hub is an emblem of the Intercontinental Design. Alongside a 47-storey financial tower, an elevated community plaza is developed atop underground retail that kinds section of the metropolis’s expansive underground town. As component of an ongoing re-creation of the advanced, design and style business and resourceful agency Sid Lee have remodeled a former lender hall into their possess dynamic new workspace.

Positioned down below Place Ville Marie’s pedestrian plaza, the 7,300-sq.-metre workplace is a semi-subterranean place that spans a modify in elevation in between two downtown streets. With an expansive skylight as the only source of all-natural illumination, the architects took on the obstacle of building a light-weight-stuffed, modern business whilst honouring the plaza’s modernist bones.

Sid Lee Architecture Office Biosquare in Montreal architecture exterior

To make the most of an unconventional house, the designers opted for a easy nevertheless dynamic layout that draws normal light-weight from earlier mentioned deep into the multi-degree workspace. Nicknamed the “Biosquare,” a white grid-like composition of staircases —and communal seating — is woven as a result of the heart of the house. Accented by lush greenery, the gentle finishes and open structure produce an ethereal, energetic ambiance in what might in any other case be an enclosed, underground house.

Sid Lee Architecture Biosquare office space interior

Sid Lee revitalized the interior while preserving a lot of the existing infrastructure. For case in point, peeling back the carpet uncovered travertine flooring — which was restored to honour the initial interior. In the meantime, the skylights were being likewise stripped and enlarged in order to brighten the room with as considerably pure lights as achievable.

Downtown Montreal Place Ville Marie office interior

Re-interpreted as social areas, the stairs that weave through the area blur the difference from 1 stage to the upcoming, fostering a unified ambiance in just. The unconventional layout also offers occupants versatility to locate new and ingenious strategies to use their surroundings. With no cubicles or assigned workplaces, Sid Lee employees can opt for their own operating ecosystem — whether or not that is a regular desk, a greater shared table, a sofa or a café table.

Downtown Montreal Place Ville Marie office meeting room with black interior and bright lights

To contrast with the shiny white doing work stations, meeting rooms just take on a stark stark black ambiance, producing tranquil and immersive environments separate from the communal spaces. In lieu of compensating for the deficiency of windows in conference rooms and personal areas — including the loos — the designers opted to emphasize the darkness with a luxe, moody ambiance.

Office meeting room with black interior and black marble table

As Sid Lee co-founder Philippe Meunier puts it, the venture is an workout in bringing the firm’s “entrepreneurial spirit to downtown Montreal and producing an available collaborative hub for the city’s innovative and organization communities.”

Place Ville Marie interior office space with white framing

The new workspace also kinds part of a larger sized transformation of Position Ville Marie and its environment – all led by Sid Lee. Along with a comprehensive 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 daily life and greenery whilst reworking a parking garage entrance into a community staircase and promenade. As a result of the drastic transformation, the community sq. has viewed a spike in pedestrian activity, introducing a friendly new vitality to what remains a handsome modernist showpiece.