SAQ Signature – de la Montagne

Winner for the 2018 Grand Prix du Design | Commercial Space Award

Winner for the 2018 Grand Prix du Design | Special Lighting Award

Stimulated by the space’s irregular geometry and the chance to design a unique expression for a government corporation’s refreshed identity, the design team decided to use light and an inspiring architectural metaphor to create novel product-discovery experiences.

The concept is built around a simple organic shape – the plant cell – subtly evoking the relationship with nature that is so central to winemaking. Arranged in a coherent spatial composition, the organic cells appear in several variations and have three main components: concrete, light, and wood.

  • The two-tone concrete floors guide the customer around the wooden display modules, which feature meticulously calculated geometries.
  • Backlit tasting tables are designed to encourage interaction and to facilitate sommelier presentations and product discovery.
  • Luminous plant cell shaped wooden volumes complete the composition. They are positioned high up to provide uniform lighting throughout the space. They contrast intentionally and are visible from the street through the narrow window.
  • The simplicity of the shelving helps showcase products by using simple contrasts between the white walls and the depth of the black niches.

The whole is a fluid path combining product display and encouraging interaction with product advisors and local producers. Beyond marketing impacts, the dynamic appeals directly to an inquisitive and well-informed clientele, in tune with Quebec’s thriving wine and spirits’ market. Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, this flagship store helps promote products to numerous tourists.

Through their creativity and innovative approach incorporating sustainable materials and light, the design team and other contributors were able to refreshen the customer experience and brand image of a government corporation whose customers have long viewed its marketing as unexciting. CHEERS!