Sid Lee Architecture International Headquarters, Montreal

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Sid Lee Architecture’s Office Combines Drama, Minimalism, and Biophilic Design

Montreal’s Sid Lee Architecture unveils its new international headquarters, a blend of sleek contemporary design and feel-good architecture

A green haven in the heart of downtown Montreal, Sid Lee Architecture’s new international headquarters is a sight to behold. Occupying three quadrants of a former Royal Bank of Canada building, the structure that houses the new office architecture is part of ongoing regeneration plans to revitalize the iconic Place Ville Marie and its esplanade. The result, a sleek redesign that both elevates and amazes, is a bright, open workspace interior and “an affirmation of the agency’s commitment to forging new ties with the urban epicenter.”

Named the Biosquare, the office offers a fresh take on one of the city’s most iconic buildings and contains a microcosm of clean linear elements, minimalist architecture and wellness principles in the continued presence of greenery and by nature. The entrance connects to a public square, with bush-hammered stone monoliths that form the café, kitchen and bathrooms. From here rise floors of offices, meeting rooms and staff gathering areas, all gathered around a grid structure system that helps to unite the different spaces seamlessly.

Photography: David Boyer

“We envisioned the space as an extension of the city and its energy,” said Jean Pelland, architect and senior partner at Sid Lee Architecture. “By anchoring the architectural elements in human interaction, the campus becomes an active platform at any time of the day, a place where artisans can gather, collaborate and create.”

Combining minimalism and biophilic design, the office interior features new strategically placed natural light sources; open-air circulation in the form of bridges and balconies that promote visual connections and a sense of belonging; and planting everywhere. At the same time, there’s plenty of spatial drama, befitting the grandeur of the old bank building. The architecture asserts itself without being overly imposing and through the use of block and repetition colors – whether in the all-white workspaces, or in the darker, darker meeting areas and communal facilities.

“With Biosquare, Sid Lee is bringing his entrepreneurial spirit to downtown Montreal and creating an accessible hub of collaboration for the city’s creative and business communities, with the goal of nurturing new ideas,” said the co-founder of Sid Lee, Philippe Meunier. §

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