There are those who follow the parade, and there are those who lead it. The Groupe Germain is obviously part of the latter. For thirty years, three generations of the Germain family from Québec City have been pushing the limits of the hospitality industry’s standards. The group, present across the country with its eighteen high-end establishments, can boast several firsts: first boutique hotel concept in Canada, no fixed departure time, charging stations for electric vehicles … A true class leader, exemplary in every way.
“We are involved from the beginning of their projects. We are really on the same wavelength in regards to the role of architecture and design in the hospitality industry”
“The Germains have always sought to position themselves as forward thinking and as innovation agents in all their projects. They know how to trust their partners to get them there,” says Viateur Michaud, co-founder of LEMAYMICHAUD. The architect knows about it: he has been working with Groupe Germain since … always!
Their first collaboration? The renovation of Le Bistango restaurant in Québec City, at the end of the 80s. “Christiane Germain told us what she wanted and I went to visit the establishment,” he recalls. Quickly, he realizes that their perception of things differs significantly; according to him, the Groupe Germain must dare more to stand out from its competition. “Being cutting-edge does not mean being outrageous, but rather being user-minded. That’s what I put forward when I presented my vision of the project,” says Viateur Michaud. Instead of clinging to her vision, Christiane welcomed Viateur’s point of view readily. Better still: she rallied to it completely. A proof, if necessary, that reaching success in architecture requires true teamwork.
Many versions of this story will punctuate the rich collaboration between LEMAYMICHAUD and Groupe Germain over the years. Such as the construction of Le Germain Calgary, a boldly designed hotel nestled in a state-of-the-art complex located in the downtown core of Alberta’s capital. Or the first Alt, located in Quartier Dix30 in Brossard, at the junction of highways 30 and 10. “The developer wanted a horizontal building. But it would have been less noticeable than a vertical building, which would never be ignored,” he says. Unsurprisingly, that’s the idea that has been executed.
Of course, an architect and his client must have affinities; it is the sharing of a common vision that gives a project personality. That, and a relationship based on respect and the pursuit of mutual higher interests. These are all elements that characterize the dozens of constructions signed Le Germain and LEMAYMICHAUD. “We are involved from the beginning of their projects. We are really on the same wavelength in regards to the role of architecture and design in the hospitality industry,” rejoices Viateur Michaud.