Located in the province of Quebec, Montreal is the second largest city of Canada. More than 350 years of French occupation has led to the confluence of European and North American culture in the traditions, art, design and all other aspects of life in Montreal.
Montreal has four distinct seasons. Despite the extreme temperatures the line-up of festivals in summer and the Carnival at wintertime make these the peak seasons. Relatively mild temperatures, off-season crowds and beautiful fall colours are the attractions in spring and autumn.
Montreal’s rich history has created a rich historical and architectural legacy. In 2006 the city was titled a UNESCO City of Design in recognition of the influence of design in enhancing the quality of life in Montreal. The thriving cultural vibe of the city has earned it the reputation of being one of the liveliest Canadian cities.
For Old Times Sake
The arched gables and ornate pillars that make up the façade of Montreal’s Hotel St.Paul make a stunning first impression. The building which was originally designed in the Beaux Arts style has been carefully restored without compromising on its original charm or modern comforts.
A largely monochromatic colour palette ensures that the atmosphere is serene and elegant. Soft furnishings and art provide bursts of colour. Bridging history into the future through well-crafted design earned Hotel St.Paul the distinction of being the first design hotel of Montreal.
The eight floors of the Hotel alternate between two different landscape motifs – earth and sky. On the earth floors the ambience in the rooms is more tangible and solid. Deep browns, rust and reds infuse into the muted greys and whites. The rooms on the sky floor carry an ethereal vibe where light and air work as design elements. Antiques and bespoke modern furniture work charmingly together in one space. The large windows frame the skyline of Old Montreal which adds to the marriage between the old-world feel and current setting.
Like many old buildings the Hotel comes with the advantages of lofty ceilings, open spaces and large picture windows and the renovation has made the most of these features. Traditional materials like hardwood, exposed stone, raw metal and silk combined with contemporary styles and clean lines helps create a chic ambience in a classic context.
Scratch The Surface
Silhouettes of birds streaking across the room, white lounges set off with images of cherubs, stars and fairies against black walls…myriad vibrant images make up the display at Surface Jalouse. Designed by graphic artists and designers, the decals provide an interesting alternative to wallpapers.
The decals combine graphic design and printing technique and can be applied on any surface – walls, windows, floors, ceilings, furniture, etc. The collection helps add that extra oomph to contemporary spaces. The decals are easy to remove and thus can be used to change the look of the space as often as one wants to. Surface Jalouse houses designs ranging from bold to elegant to kid-friendly.
Feel At Home
A closer, longer look reveals the planned effort that would have been undertaken for this project. Habitat 67 started as a thesis for architecture by then student Moshe Safdie and was later adapted as a pavilion for the World Expo Fair to showcase an urban living experience.
Habitat 67 is made up of 354 prefabricated concrete forms laid out to create residences of varying sizes and proportions to accommodate individual needs. The project integrates the rhythm of life in the country with the economics of urban living.
L’Original translates to moose in English and not original; one step through the door of this restaurant and the significance of the correct translation makes sense. The restaurant is located in the middle of Old Montreal but the chalet-like interiors create the atmosphere of being in the countryside.
The extensive use of wood lends the space the feel of a cosy cabin. A faux head of a moose carved from wood adorns the door and a boat nailed horizontally on the wall behind the bar is fitted with shelves to hold bottles and glasses. These, combined with other elements like an antique typewriter and a lobster trap bring an eclectic touch to L’Original.
Text By Himali Kothari