Ivanhoe Cambridge wanted to enhance the commercial offering and redevelop the commercial hubs of the Montréal Eaton Centre and Complexe Les Ailes (“former Eaton’s Store”) by harmonizing the architectural environment to create a future-oriented commercial centre integrated into the urban fabric. In addition, a unification of the two properties was proposed, while preserving certain heritage architectural elements of the older building.
The architectural interventions on the existing built environment are part of the first phase of the redevelopment of Sainte-Catherine Street, while supporting the urban river-mountain promenade where the sidewalks of Sainte-Catherine Street have been widened between McGill College and Aylmer streets.
Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, part of the Montreal underground, the renewed commercial centre offers to a diverse clientele (workers, residents, consumers and tourists) adapted spaces that provide a dynamic and interactive environment.
The goal of the project was to create a single entity, with renewed interior spaces and exterior elements, a simplification of the overall spatial orientation, in addition to a better use of space to allow for a densification of the offer. The unification, whose interior architectural design takes shape around an elliptical central atrium – the oculus – chosen to create an extended space that provides depth and visual continuity, encourages east-west circulation of users between the two properties by creating stronger physical links that increase the visibility of the businesses while increasing traffic.
On the façade, large glass curtain wall sections maximize the transparency effect while considerably simplifying the visibility of the entrances from the outside.
The grids of the existing buildings are respected, at the level of the Eaton Center and the adjacent building (Complexe les Ailes). The new contemporary fenestration pattern is combined with the built heritage by respecting the existing alignments. This intervention respects the duality between the commercial levels at street level (transparent) and the upper levels (opaque).
A complete overhaul of the interiors was also carried out, including the revision of all circulation and vertical transport distribution, the re-definition of rental limits, the expansion of certain atriums and the updating of all finishes.
Several other projects completed by LemayMichaud are the result of this major revitalization, including the development of the Time Out Market.