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It was a real brainteaser for the architect. A room measuring a mere 460 square feet bounded by a large curtain wall to the north along Mont-Royal and another to the east along de la Roche that had to include:
- a kitchen space for events;
- a work area for the real estate agents;
- a waiting room for the public;
- a screen to disseminate information;
- an enclosed space for signing contracts;
- an entrance closet;
- a server for over 20 workstations.
Rather than looking like a conventional reception area for offices, the desired effect was a warm and welcoming apartment.
To meet these multiple constraints, a long maple bench extending along the windows on de la Roche and Mont-Royal encloses the heating and comfortably seats many guests without obstructing the view. Crowning the centre of the composition is a suspended island in the shape of a parallelogram featuring an embedded LCD screen facing the bench. Its raw steel structure includes an assorted quartz counter measuring approximately 3’ x 10’.
The meeting room is located at the back of the space in borrowed light. A long wall of glazed doors, ranging from opaque to transparent, simultaneously closes off the meeting room, entrance closet and space housing the servers.
Local finishing products were selected: oiled solid maple from Lanaudière for the walls and ceilings, slate from Vermont for the floors, quartz from Thetford Mines on the island. Low-emission glues and paints were used. The project received platinum certification, the highest ranking awarded by the Ecohome’s Québec renovation program.
Project: Via Capitale – Vitrine Éco
Client: Via Capitale du Mont-Royal
Architecture: L. McComber ltée
Team: David Grenier, Laurent McComber
Craftman Félix Lepage, MatPel, Véronique Lamarre, Jérôme Lavoie
Construction: M.A. construction
Area: 460 sf
Cost: 85 000 $
Photography: Steve Montpetit
Location: Plateau Mont-Royal, Montréal
Completion: January 2014
L. McComber ltée – Living architecture
Since 2005, L. McComber has been dedicated to designing unique concepts of varied scope and context. From designing built-in furnitures and interiors to multi-units dwelling and adapting existing buildings for residential, commercial or cultural purposes, our broad experience makes our success. We engage the specificity of each project and deliver a contemporary solution. As well-rounded practitioners, we have the ability to translate your ideas and the project constraints into a custom design while addressing all functional requirements. We use design as a strategic process to generate tailored welcoming spaces speaking to everyday needs. Our passion for the art of building is expressed in our sustainable, durable, energy-efficient solutions.
We work in close collaboration with experienced consultants, contractors, craftspeople and suppliers to ensure that each project will be a success. Using clear and detailed technical drawings, we specify the scope of a contract to better prepare the worksite, assure timely work completion and monitor construction costs. We have integrated advanced techniques in our process such as computer-assisted parametric drafting and digital fabrication to quickly respond to a constantly evolving demand.
Our work has been shown at the Maison de l’Architecture du Québec (Ô cloture, 2011) and at the Venice Biennale (Maison Nature with Encore Heureux, 2007). In 2009, the studio was the winner of the Ordre des architects du Quebec prix d’excellence en architecture for the project Lignes aériennes. Our designs have appeared in many newspapers and magazines locally and abroad.