Mandate: Conversion and rehabilation of the 99 Chabanel in a commercial building dedicated to fashion
Realisation date: 2010
Concept and challenges: From an urban perspective, this iconic building stands as the first of all future architectural development of Chabanel street. From it, emerges a visual dialogue that unifies the street, bringing together all its buildings with similar architecture; the 99, the 125, the 225, 333 and 433. Each of these buildings will have their identities defined by their different interior vocations, but are ultimatly part of a whole, shaped by a coherent architectural deployment of the street.
The project consists in the rehabilation of the building facade with the use of textile, which allows it to renew acquaintance with both its origins story, and its new vocation. Playing dress-up with the building! Like a garment, the widths of fabric are assembled to create a pattern that redefines the building's architecture, and restores volume proportions by emphasizing the vertical lines that punctuates the twenty-four feet structure. From the slight angle given by the structure, the fabric takes ,accepts and reflects light, creating a subtle movement in the facade unique to this building.
The entrance to Usine 99 is marked by a simple framework that links the exterior movement in a continuous way with the inside. This entrance ritual, like a catwalk, extends and takes visitors into the heart of the building. Also, the opening in the slab on two floor levels, allows the commercial spaces to be organized on the outskirts of the central heart. The interior architecture showcases the industrial character of the building and acts as a canvas. Furthermore,the lowering of the slab basilar allows the creation of display windows at street level, reinstalling a quality experience of the urban place for the passerby.
To sum up, the architecture revisited by the deployment of this new textile façade, through lighting enhancement, contributes to the celebration of Usine 99’s contents and distinguishes itself from all other fashion relates commercial spaces in Montreal.