The Monthly European Architectural Newsletter
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October 2009

division of Archi-Europe Group


Montreal in focus

For over 20 years the Salon international du design d’intérieur de Montréal has been a real force in a metropolis where design is a real dynamic for companies and a powerful tool for developing diversity. Inhabitants also have an active role in mobilising the design to inspire more innovative life environments. This is how SIDIM can exchange view points and re-forge links between the visitors – managers, designers, distributors and people in the know and quality exhibitors who have come to propose relevant planning and living space equipment ideas. The organisers are counting on thought, exchange and discovery. This friendly meeting which traditionally happens at the end of May also highlights the work of Quebecois designers. Let us not forget that the “Réalisons Montréal Ville UNESCO de design” grosses 1.2 million dollars and is intended to provoke opportunities to create and develop design initiatives. This investment can finance holding of the design competition and architecture and to promote initiatives in Montreal. The annual SIDIM event is also the opportunity to go through the strong architectural points of a city and which from now on has important projects to affirm its urban identity. And the development of the theatre area, Griffintown or the International quarter is an important part, expressed in a friendly urban space and a new direction of the urban fabric. Montreal’s European character, its dynamism and openness to the world never cease to surprise. This economic and cultural crossroads is also a festive city. The Canadian Centre for Architecture recognised on the world level in the quays of the Old Port, the hotels, restaurants, shops and exhibition spaces also testify to avant-garde concepts.

The Archi-Europe team

Archi-Europe has the pleasure of welcoming you in Bologna during the Saie 2009 trade fair taking place from the October 28th to October 31st. Visit us at our stand, we are located in HALL 15 Booth B2.
If you plan to visit us in Paris in the framework of the BATIMAT 2009 trade fair taking place from November 2nd to November 7th, you will find us in HALL 7.2 Booth G59.

Portrait of the month

Daoust Lestage inc., Montreal

In the light of recent developments, the Montreal agency Daoust Lesage has been decorated by the Quebec order of architects with a double excellence in architecture prize. In fact, bearing witness to the improvements which have underlined the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Quebec, the Promenade Samuel-De Champlain was distinguished for its originality, aesthetic qualities and durability. Widely prized elsewhere this project is far from being an isolated case. Used to prizes and honours, the agency founded by Urban planner Real Lestage and the architect Renee Daoust has made some spectacular urban productions.

Since 1991 the refurbishment of the site of the Moulins (Montreal) contributes to laying the base of an approach which characterises the work of the Daoust Lesage today. This project relies on the potential evocation of existing ruins and the narrative capacity of contemporary interventions. The individual history of the site can then be read in the evocation of the sea wall with the various preserved artefacts, clearing of the canals, recalling the fabric of the buildings and a lighthouse feature evocative of an industrial chimney. A little later in Quebec, the Parliament Hill project re-designates an important traffic axis as well as the Parliament esplanade. The overall plan is intended to consolidate the urban fibre and enhance adjacent areas.
At the end of the 1990s, the Daoust Lesage architects got down to a large scale urban project: The International District. A Montreal urban sector disintegrated in the 1960s because of the Ville-Marie motorway and the existence of many vague landscapes, they reconfigure public places, build underground pedestrian links, recover the motorway and intervene on traffic routes. A new friendly district then emerges. The urban development plan is intended to recreate the links between the old and the new town, appealing to leading edge expertise on urban design, signing, landscape architecture and industrial design.
Erected in the heart of the district the CDP Capital offices stand out for durable development and quality of life. This bridge building strides across the urban motorway with a parking area and underground metro. The designers had countless technical challenges to consolidate the urban fabric. One part of 13 floors, the other of 10, the building fits round an east-west axis called the Parquet, a hyphen between two public places. The nine floor hall synergises 1500 employees and orders all the vertical circulations. An innovating project and exemplary work place, the CDP wanted to keep to the most recent trends in energy efficiency while promoting social communication.

Recently the Quartier des Spectacles in Montreal, one of the most important urban renewal operations in Canada involves significant operations on traffic routes and develops four major public places for holding festivals or other events. One of the challenges of the project was to structure this town centre sector in order to maintain friendly public spaces outside the period of events.
The famous Promenade Samuel-De Champlain was created to give back access to the Saint Lawrence river while revitalising 2.5 km of costal landscape. It ripples delicately in a sequence of atmospheres, going from an infinite vision of the river to a more tactile and sensory experience for the user. The commission favoured a global and multi disciplinary approach. The first concern was to inhibit the traffic system that crossed the sector. The second was to make this huge and intimidating space comfortable. Inspired by the river landscape the development aimed at comfort for the user and enhancing the Saint Lawrence river and subtly evoking its history. Note that the Station des Cageux is an important landmark with its observation tower and interpretation kiosk.
All the large renewal operations of the urban environment discussed here, and others are characterised by the sobriety of the architectural operations. For each project the approach is based on an attentive reading of the historical characteristics, current conditions and the spirit of place in order to formulate works in harmony with the specific character of the site. This approach enhances realisation of projects which while based on proven archetypes present a completely contemporary technique.

1. Renée Daoust et Réal Lestage
2. & 3. Ile de la Visitation - improvement of the Moulins site, Montreal, 1991-1996
4. & 5. Parliament Hill, Quebec, 1995-1999
6. & 7. International District of Montreal 1997-2004
8. 9. 10. & 11. CDP Capital Centre, Montreal 2000-2003
12. & 13. Square of the Quartier des Spectacles, Montreal 2007-2009
14. 15. 16. Promenade Samuel-De Champlain - Phase 1, Quebec 2005-2008

Project of the month

Hotel Opus

Built in 1915 in the Art Nouveau Spirit, with undulating facades, balconies in wrought metal and central spiral staircase, this avant-garde work in reinforced concrete by Montreal’s Josephe Arthur Godin underwent a profound transformation in 2004. The architect Dan Hanganu, well known for his ability to get the best out of complex urban situations, fixes onto the building a volume made up of several times its size while respecting the standards stemming from its classification as a “historical monument”. With a grey covering the construction has an identical frame and windows on the five floors as well as a large glass surface on the ground level. The roof covers a part of the original building which preserves its concrete ceilings and columns. The interior design bears the Yabu Pushelberg label, famous for the Hotel W in Times Square in New York. After a brief existence under the name “Godin” the hotel located in the heart of trendy Montreal has been rechristened “Opus”. Its purchaser, John de C. Evans (Trilogy Properties Corporation) decided against a radical redefinition of its design, but just to offer it some cosmetic changes to better reflect the brand. This is not a renovation, but new colours in the rooms. Four environments correspond to four styles of contemporary urban life. Chartreuse green, raspberry pink, bright orange and purple blue will better reflect the personality of future occupants. In the marble entrance, contemporary furniture and sculptures in wood contrast with steel structures. Cement ceilings are placed next to cork lined walls. This intimate hotel with 136 rooms combines sobriety and comfort. And sophistication in the restaurant bar Koko and in the Suco Lounge. Run by Katherine Evans, the Opus redefines the experience of the shop hotel. State of the art design and historical tones join in a Montreal spirit.

Scandinave Les Bains Vieux-Montréal

Architects Gilles Saucier and Andre Perrotte point up the change of the old warehouses located in the quays of the Montreal’s Vieux Port into urban spa. “The formal part of the project comes from the contact between heat and cold, more specifically, the natural phenomena associated with these two conditions” their designers explain. “The project distils the idea of the cold forms of glaciers and hot volcanic stones. Angular masses of a glacial topography combined with a volcanic geology speak of this duality at the centre of the heat treatment experience supplied by this spa.” This duality is concretised in the form of the spaces and the choice of the materials. Combining main space, an undulating wood ceiling echoes the floor while the white marble walls seem to melt down at the contact point with the hot colour of the ceiling wood. Walls, floors and ceilings are slightly inclined. “The subtlety of these angles offers a special perception that is different to the everyday: the awareness of the relationship between the body and its environment is enhanced, which lets the visitor recharge his batteries.” In fact as in a natural landscape, light undulations in the ground create slight slopes and depressions in the wall generating water basins for bathing. At times the volumes emerge from the ground to sculpt the interior zones, sauna or steam bath. Opal glass walls offer natural light to the bath zone, preserving intimacy and keeping a contact with urban life. The heated cantilevered black slate benches and the candle lit relaxation room offer warm places to relax.

Product of the month

Knauf Insulation launches more sustainable generation of mineral wool with ECOSE® Technology

Knauf Insulation, one of the leading and fastest-growing global insulation manufacturers, has recently launched a range of revolutionary new mineral wool solutions, which reduce the product’s embodied energy and delivers superior environmental sustainability using patented ECOSE Technology. With mineral wool insulation already considered the best performing insulation in terms of low environmental impact; this development extends the leading position of mineral wool as the most important insulation product of the future.

Knauf Insulation mineral wool products with ECOSE Technology benefit from a formaldehyde-free binder based on rapidly renewable bio-based materials instead of petroleum-based chemicals. By converting biobased materials into an inert polymer, ECOSE Technology creates an exceptionally strong binder that bonds mineral wool insulation strands together. The technology has been developed for Knauf Insulation’s glass mineral wool as well as for their rock mineral wool products, enhancing their environmental credentials whilst maintaining the thermal, acoustic and fire performance and mechanical properties.

The distinctive new look of Knauf Insulation’s glass mineral wool products is all thanks to introduction of ECOSE Technology in its proprietary manufacturing process. This new binder leads to a natural shade of earthy brown – free from dyes, bleaches or artificial colors. The new glass mineral wool is less dusty and has a much softer and friendlier feel whilst retaining its rigidity and stiffness properties. The new binder is up to 70% less energy intensive than traditional binders and it reduces manufacturing emissions. As there is no formaldehyde or phenol used in the manufacturing process, it also improves the indoor air quality of buildings where these products are installed (compared to conventional mineral wool products).

Knauf Insulation’s launch of the next generation of sustainable insulation products is in line with Knauf Insulation’s long-held culture of environmental stewardship and commitment to be at the forefront of sustainability.

  • Softer feel
  • Odourless
  • Less dusty
  • Certified performance
  • Naturally better for the environment

For further information please consul tour web-site

Event in the spotlight

Batimat 2009
from 2 to 7 November 2009 - Paris

Batimat is the world’s leading construction exhibition. Every other year in Paris it brings together the most comprehensive array of products, equipment and services in the world and the largest number of French and international professionals (developers, specifiers, contractors and distributors).
You will find Archi-Europe in HALL 7.2 Booth G59.

Are you an architect?
Ask here your free entrance ticket.


ETH Energie Tage Hessen 2009 und Passivhaus Hessen 2009
(30/10 - 1/11/2009) Wetzlar (DE)
(23 - 26/10/2009) Mons (BE)
(2-7/11/2009) - Paris (FR)
World Architecture Festival
(4 - 6/11/2009) Barcelone (ES)
Architekturpreis Land Salzburg 2008
(> 30/10/2009) - Salzbourg (AT)
(28-31/10/2009) - Bologna (IT)
(18 - 21/10/2009) - Birmingham (UK)
>> read more


Taipei Pop Music Center International Competition
Deadline : 19/10/2009
The Earth Awards
Deadline : 9/12/2009
>> read more


1. Fumihiko Maki
Fumihiko Maki, Kenneth Frampton, Mark Mulligan, David Stewart
320 pages | € 75.00
Editions Phaidon
ISBN 9780714849560

>> read more

2. Le grand livre de l'isolation
Thierry Gallauziaux, David Fedullo
672 pages | € 49.00
Editions Eyrolles

ISBN 978-2-212-12404-0
>> read more

3. Living for the Elderly
Eckard Feddersen, Insa
248 pages |

ISBN 9783764388713
>> read more


Copyright 2009 Archi-Europe Group nv/sa
Responsible Editor: Jacques Allard | Chief Editor: Marie-Claire Regniers

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