Atelier TAG and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes
Montréal, Canada, August 16th, 2021
V2com Press kit no. 5117-01
The remodeling of the corporate head office of the Business Development Bank of Canada at Place Ville Marie underlines the great potential and richness of Montreal's modern architectural heritage. From a sustainability perspective, the project aims to innovate in its response to changes in work patterns linked to new technologies, and with an eye to growing preoccupation for the well-being of workers. Located in the iconic tower of I.M. Pei since 1994, the Business Development Bank of Canada wanted to regroup the 1 000 employees of its head office, dispersed across adjacent buildings, under one roof. The proposed architectural concept for the workspace presents an innovative socio-spatial model in response to the emerging needs of a new generation of knowledge workers. The first stage of the project confirmed the potential of the redevelopment of several floors of the 1968 tower and consolidated BDC's desire to respond responsively to the growing urban ecological challenges of the 21st century.
A legacy of the modern period, office towers are typically composed of a series of horizontal spaces with little inter-floor connection. The deployment of the BDC on seven levels is an opportunity to propose an alternative system that defines spacious, bright, and vertically interconnected collaborative workspaces. By introducing double-height spaces and internal stair connections, employees are reunited through a vertical axis that becomes the daily mode of travel, connects different departments, and supports various social activities. Orchestrated as a socio-spatial device, the new architectural staircase becomes the geographic, social, and symbolic heart of the BDC. As a place of gathering and chance encounters, the staircase unfolds from floor to floor and anchors programmatic elements specific to each department. It changes the sociability of departments according to their location in the tower, moving from a more public program on the ground floor to spaces suitable for concentrated work on the 6th floor.
The architectural concept embodies the commercial competitiveness of BDC, for which the well-being of its employees is the real engine of its productivity and growth. The definition of a socio-spatial structure based on different degrees of interpersonal interactivity allows everyone to navigate between fortuitous exchanges and formal meetings by department, group, or individual work. The project focuses on spatial transparency, immersion in a cityscape rich in natural (St. Lawrence River and Mount Royal) and urban landmarks, and the use of symbolically significant Canadian materials such as maple and aluminum to ensure both the durability and the perennity of the design.
Structured in five phases of construction, this complex project was carried out in a dense urban context while remaining in function. It represents an exemplary collaboration between the tenant, to whom the project is addressed, the owner, responsible for the integrity of its facilities, and the team of architects. The latter proposed a reversible project, respectful of modern heritage and reflecting the values of BDC, for which LEED Gold certification was obtained.
Location: 5 Place Ville Marie, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Area: 16 000 m²
Budget: $ 31.1M
Clients: Business Development Bank of Canada and Ivanhoé Cambridge
Architects: Atelier TAG and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes in consortium
Other professionals and consultants:
Electromechanical - Dupras Ledoux
Structure - NCK
Project management - Avison Young
General contractor - P&R Desjardins
Acoustic consultant - WSP
LEED Consultant - Vertima
Building codes and standards consultant - Technorm
IT integration - AVI-SPL
Kitchen and catering consultant - Bernard et Associés
Photographers: P. Karwowski (Press Kit), Adrien Williams (website)
About Atelier TAG
Founded by Manon Asselin and Katsuhiro Yamazaki in 1997, Atelier TAG is based in Montreal. Since its inception, the studio has sought to create meaningful spaces by reinterpreting the civic function of architecture through the careful study of the sociocultural contexts within which a given program operates. TAG’s growing body of work has allowed it to develop a design methodology focused on building technique and materiality. The work of the studio is a quest for simplicity, where the built space, through the calculated play of light and materiality, embodies the physical, the cultural and the poetics of architecture.
The office’s output is consistently rewarded for its design excellence, including four Governor General’s medals, the prestigious Prix de Rome in architecture by the Canada Council for the Arts and the 2012 Emerging Voices from the Architectural League of New York. The recently completed Donalda-Charron Library, Gilles-Vigneault performance hall, Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace and Raymond-Lévesque Public Library have received many awards, highlighting the exceptional quality of the work.
About Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes
Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes has dedicated its practice to design an architecture that is humane, sustainable, functional and luminous, adapted to its users and integrated into its environment, in the institutional fields of health, transportation, education, research and culture. The development process of their projects is based on collaboration, respect and continuous improvement of knowledge, in a spirit of openness leading to positive life experiences. Recipient of more than 145 awards of excellence and distinctions —including 7 Governor General's Medals in Architecture—, the firm has demonstrated on numerous occasions its ability to conceive and realize projects of great architectural quality.
Founded in 1958 by Bernard Jodoin, Denis Lamarre and Gérard Pratte, Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes now has a team of 145 architects, technicians, designers and other professionals under the direction of Alain Boudrias, Michel Broz, Catherine Demers, Martine Gévry, Sylvain Morrier and Nicolas Ranger. The success of the firm and the quality of its projects are based on the constantly improving design skills of its team members and on the depth of their technical knowledge. Each person is essential to the collective success.
Jason Treherne, Architect
Head of communications
Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes