© David Boyer
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Atelier Zébulon Perron, an interior design firm steadfast on forging relations between humans and spaces, is proud to disclose the welcoming ambiance of Le Boulevardier restaurant and Le Flâneur Bar Lounge, including the food and beverage portion of a major $30 million renovation of Germain Hotels’ flagship property, Le Germain Hotel, in downtown Montreal. The firm’s ensemble of work comprises approximately 8,000sf of symbiotic space, on two separate levels, consisting of a ground floor bar/lounge, a first-floor restaurant, and a charming staircase to connect the vibrant spaces.
A contemporary vision of a historic era, revealing some of the building’s original Brutalist architecture. Exposed concrete and other raw materials served as inspirational canvases for a contrasting purity of forms and lines, applied to a minimalist design concentrated on space planning, modern materials, and luminosity.
INTRIGUE THROUGH DESIGN
A core element of the planning process concentrated on designing a physical and emotional connection between the two thematically symbiotic spaces. In order to foster intrigue, Atelier Zébulon Perron repositioned the hotel’s centrally-located staircase closer to the front desk area, inviting patrons to explore beyond the bounds of the lobby. The steel structure and hardwood steps of the new staircase that rises through the ceiling and anchored from above, are framed in a transparent wall of steel rods, tactically illuminated to organize it as aesthetically satisfying as it is functional.
In approaching the design of a welcoming lobby bar/lounge, the firm concentrated on designing a space where both local frequenter and hotel guests can intermingle, work, or simply enjoy a drink. With its relaxed retro feel, encased in an unpretentious, contemporary décor, Le Flâneur has attained that goal. Its welcoming blend of conviviality and grandeur, with contrasts of raw concrete and noble materials, sets up a balanced warmth design for people to inhabit, rather than simply adore. Rich, dark woods and marble adorn Le Flâneur’s counters and floors, while strategically-placed dividers provide a contemporary framework for banquettes and chrome cube furnishings that imbue a retro feel into the comfortable surroundings.
Le Boulevardier restaurant
The staircase leading from the lobby to the first-floor restaurant bridges a balanced décor, ascending into a space illuminated by a plethora of natural light. Exposed concrete beams rise above the restaurant’s contemporary décor, which mirrors Le Flâneur’s copious use of dark woods and marble countertops. From the warmth of a retro ambiance where time seemingly stands still, patrons will be fascinated by a window on the world at their feet, courtesy of floor-to-ceiling windows providing splendid views overlooking the horizons of President Kennedy Avenue and the downtown streets below. The floor-to-ceiling windows also serve as an inward portal to the restaurant for curious passers-by, designed to complement the restaurant’s patronage of hotel guests with an inflow of external clients.
While the windows, and the connection that they present to the downtown streets, widen the horizons exponentially, a strategic gallery of mirrors adorning the ceiling and side walls of the restaurant’s interior further provides the illusion of enlarging the space well beyond its original dimensions.
Under the guidance of Chef David Pellizzari, Le Boulevardier is an expansion of the Le Flâneur vibe and theme of social connectivity. Working in close association with a kitchen consultant, Atelier Zébulon Perron achieved continuity through an open kitchen design that seamlessly integrates with the space’s décor and ambiance, while assuring maximum operational performance for the chef and his staff.
An enlightened ambiance
Further elucidating the vision of Atelier Zébulon Perron, intricate lighting design was assimilated into architectural planning from the onset. Working jointly with Montreal-based lighting studio, Lambert & Fils, the firm designed customized lighting schemes concentrated on capturing the essence of the spaces through controlled quality, temperature, and modulation. Capitalizing further on elements paying homage to the original brutalist architectural language of the building, a grid concrete ceiling with embedded custom copper lights was generated above the ground level elevators, instilling new life into a dated ambiance and further enticing inward exploration of the vibrant new spaces. The nighttime lighting results in a further intimate, inward ambiance. Daylight gives way to the luminosity of elaborate, modern ceiling systems, further complemented by ground-level retro fixtures that draw patrons back from the external hustle and bustle in order to frame the city from a observational perspective.