Located at the heart of the Plateau Mont-Royal, the monument project explores an architectural approach that allows the development of bright and open residential spaces in a structure that was formerly dedicated to manufacturing and warehousing, while also ensuring the conservation of the urban heritage in the process of transformation.
The original building was developed in 1905 at the corner of Colonial Avenue and Demers Street to house the factory of the Saint Louis Preserving Company. By 1912, the manufacturing facility was expanded with a new wing. The Grenier fine lingerie company established their factory there in 1927 and a major addition was built in 1933. This extension was created according to plans by the architect Joseph-Zéphirin Gauthier, who united the building’s different parts into a new façade. The latter, made of brick walls, is punctuated by the rhythm of a regular arrangement of windows, composed of rectangular windows, which are interrupted by the large entry in the middle. The company will move from 4835 Colonial Avenue in 2012.
The original factory building has two floors and a basement. It is a mixed structure with steel beams and columns, wooden joists, and concrete floors.
The approach was to limit the interventions on the existing envelope and floors, to add a split floor on the roof and to pierce openings in the existing structure to increase the flow of natural light in the center of the volume. The ground floor units have extensive openings to the outside perimeter. Some embrasures mimic the effect of a window from the outside, while a loggia fully cladded in wood is created from the inside of the envelope. The alignment and the continuity of the exterior soffits’ wood cladding towards the interior accentuate the dimensions of the spaces. The second and third floors are occupied by townhouses with inner courtyards and terraces. On the first level, the bedrooms, the bathrooms, and a home office are organized around the interior courtyard which is cut into the existing structure. The living areas are located on the third-floor extension. Each unit has its own intimate terrace with either views of the Mount Royal or the Montreal landscape. The high ceiling and generous windows flood both the units and the interior spaces with plenty of natural light.
The extension’s envelope has been treated like a metal cladding mansard. From the interior courtyards, the aluminum pellets of contrasting color are transformed into a more random pattern to reinforce the effect of depth and reflected light from the shell. The expression of sequins is also a nod to the Grenier lingerie company that has occupied the building for over 80 years.