© Provencher_Roy / Stéphane Brügger
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The Montreal Tower, one of the Montreal’s Architectural symbol and a part of the Parc Olympique was designed by architect Roger Taillibert. The tower is 175 meter tall and angled at 45 degrees. This is the world’s tallest inclined tower. The curved back of the tower has a funicular used by the visitors, to reach the observation deck at the top of the structure which offers views of the city and the Mount Royal Mountains. The tower was built to be utilized as training gyms but it has been vacant for 30 years.
The tower that has been vacant since 1987 is taken as Office space by the Desjardins, they are the first tenants of this tower for the next 15 years. The design work of this office space is carried out by Provencher Roy. Seven of the twelve floors of this tower are occupied by Desjardins call and administrative centers, which represents 80% of the rental space available in the tower.
As the original purpose of the tower designed by architect Roger Taillibert was to house the sport gyms, the outside of the tower structure was installed with massive prefab concrete panels during construction, which allowed vertical striped openings on each floor sufficient for natural lighting. The Olympic park initiated the renovation of the tower in 2015. The design had to be redeveloped as per the space requirements of the new tenants, many of the Desjardins Group team. The existing prefabricated concrete envelope was replaced with a curtain wall, a logical solution provided by Provencher Roy. This flooded the office spaces with natural light and abundant transparency (Paying respect to the original architecture)
The thousand of the Desjardins employees now enjoy the workspaces bathed in natural light. This was achieved by renovating most of the Montreal Tower’s mechanical system to match the code and standards. However, the greatest challenge was undoubtedly the removing of the tower’s prefabricated concrete panels to make way for the transparency afforded by a glass curtain wall covering 60% of the facade—a fundamental component in creating a congenial work atmosphere. Besides disclosing the remarkable structure of the architectural icon, the approach also brings the tower to life and gives it a new energy.
The new structure of the Montreal Tower was unveiled to the entire world after 30 years of concealed existence.
Symbolic Interior design
The interior design concept of this new office space was to symbolize the history of the tower along with a work environment that encourages and exchanges creativity. The extraordinary space offered by the seven floors of this architectural symbol of Montreal is enhanced by the design adapted to the organic form of the stadium which offers all the employees with a stimulating and cooperative work environment. The different areas in the office have several historical references to the first vocation of the stadium. Waiting area is one among this different areas with poppy shaped details in the ceiling, a reminder of the old orange roof canvas as seen before when inside.
The design approach of the interior designer was to represent the wondrous architecture character of the Montreal Tower, still imbued with the Olympic spirit as said by Julien-Pierre Laurendeau. The Interior design of this new office encourages teamwork and sharing of knowledge in a lively atmosphere, as well as corelating with the values of Desjardins.
From inside out, the splendid structure was accentuated by the neutral hues of the surfaces. The spacious and bright rooms now have a pale grey and marbled floor. The windows are unobstructed to allow the creation of an architectural promenade offering employees a striking view of the stadium and the city. Spaces of collaboration and leisure were also arranged along the imposing glass walls.
The place is expressed as a working tool, with the futuristic offices incorporating the latest technological equipment in order to attract and meet the needs of employees aged 25 to 35. The entertainment areas, multifunctional rooms, coffee counters and lounges were designed specifically for a young and active clientele. The streamlined and the contemporary styles of its interior design creates a firm sense of belonging, transforming the development of a “workplace” into a real “living space” for Desjardins employees.
Desjardins Group’s new premises’ inauguration took place during summer 2018. This unifying revitalized project revived everyone’s pride and sparked a wave of enthusiasm and interest among the population. More than a symbolic place that was formerly committed to the Olympic Games, the Montréal Tower is now an enduring mark on the collective imagination.
The total area of the seven floors is 150,000 sq. ft (13935.45 sq. m). The different functions in the office are as follows:
Reception area with interactive window
Espace carrière et co-création
7 multifunctional conference rooms
11 meeting rooms
26 coaching areas
for 1400 employees there are 1200 open area positions
23 closed offices
A 400-seat dining room including a 150-seat multifunctional room
6 coffee spaces
6 entertainment areas
25 collaborative living rooms
A wellness centre including an exercise room.