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.